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AppBank, a Seattle-based startup, today is launching a free application in beta that lets people without coding skills build their own Facebook apps, such as a quiz or game, in four steps — and earn a cut of the revenue from ads placed within them. The company provides a database of statistics and tutorials on its web site to help people manage and modify their applications in order to attract users and ultimately, pocket more cash.
We’ve written previously about Sweb Apps, a startup whose web site lets small- and medium-sized businesses create their own iPhone apps for the rapidly growing iTunes App Store. AppBank takes a similar approach, but it could face obstacles as it tries to attract app creators, because the excitement around building new applications for Facebook has died down since the social network opened its API to outside developers. Though Facebook has an audience of 300 million, AppBank may find more success if it turns to Twitter, which is the new darling for app developers.
AppBank lets you select what type of app you want to make, write up the questions you want to include in it — even embed a YouTube video within it. AppBank’s web site has a dashboard that provides detailed statistics derived from Facebook about the app’s performance, including where in the U.S. and the world it’s most popular and how many friends people who access it have. It also includes metrics about the app’s financial performance, including how much it’s earning per day or week.
To help its app creators make money, AppBank places banner ads from networks such as Rock You and sponsor advertisements from companies like Netflix within apps. How much money an app’s creator receives is determined by the number of users the app draws and what the CPM on the ads placed within it is. Some of the most popular apps created by AppBank users have garnered $700-$1,000 a month, according to the company.
AppBank has been profitable since its launch in April, according to CEO Fred Hsu, who cited low overhead and a rise in social networks CPMs. It won’t, therefore, be looking for funding anytime soon. Hsu further claimed that some 8 million people have so far accessed Facebook apps created using AppBank’s technology, and said the company aims to augment that number to 50 million by the end of this year.