Last week, Facebook and Heroku announced a partnership through which Facebook developers could easily launch applications on Heroku’s cloud Platform-as a Service via the Facebook development portal. That appears to have been a smart partnership for Heroku, which reports it saw more than 33,800 Facebook applications launched on its service since the social network giant unveiled new features at yesterday’s f8 conference.
On the official Heroku blog, Adam Seligman notes “that’s more than 20 [applications] a minute. Facebook has again innovated and captured the excitement of the developer community.”
However, in the comments to both Heroku’s post and on Hacker News, there’s some debate over whether these are “fake apps” launched to get access to the new Timeline feature. It’s difficult to tell, especially because developers don’t need to launch on Heroku to access those features, some commenters claim.
Assuming at least a good portion are actual applications, though, such a large number is also a ringing endorsement for PaaS, in general, which increasingly appears to ideal for developers wanting to build and launch lightweight applications. For individual developers, PaaS is a way to host an application without getting caught up in systems management or other low-level concerns. Enterprise developers get the same benefits, even if they only utilize right now for non-mission-critical Facebook or mobile applications.