Notes from FacebookCamp Toronto 2, Part 2

Ami Vora making her presentation at FacebookCamp Toronto 2
Ami Vora making her presentation. Image taken from Pink Internet Marketing.

Here’s part 2 of my notes from last night’s FacebookCamp Toronto 2 sessions. In case you missed part one, it’s here.

Building an App for Your Brand (Janice Diner and Michael Scissons, Segal Communications)

Segal Communications:

  • What they do: “Create experiences that help companies build brands and generate sales”
  • Showed video of Segal’s work:
    • Club kids
    • Hip hop soundtrack
    • Images of events and apps
    • Split it — testimonials

The advertiser’s view:

  • Brands are either on Facebook or thinking about getting on Facebook
  • They still get some calls along the lines of: “I want my ad put on people’s profiles”
  • They work with brands to figure out “how to engage in this space”

Facebook applications

  • Top 44 apps = 200M installations
  • 16M daily active application users

Brands have these advertising options on Facebook:

  • Sponsored stories
  • Graphical ad units (a.k.a. “banners”)
  • Sponsored groups
  • Flyers
  • Branded app dev


  • 100s of millions of dollars have already been spent by brands on Facebook (source: eMarketer)
  • It is expected that $1 billion will be spent by brands on Facebook by the end of 2009 (source: eMarketer)
  • There are more than 41 million active Facebook users

Inroducing Janice: Creative Director

  • She’s been “playing w/ brands on Facebook for close to a year”

Apps engage users in a number of ways, among them:

  • Social experience
  • Personal publishing

Branded apps they’ve worked on include:

  • A “Rock Paper Scissors” game for Red Bull called Roshambull
  • A political views survey for the Washington Post called The Compass
  • A college roomate expense-sharing assistant for TD Canada Trust bank called Split It

Brand Social Network

  • The idea is to link a brand to an experience that is social in nature
  • How? By connect brands with Facebook’s social graph
  • The hope is to create community of “brand ambassadors”

Brand opportunity

  • Facebook presents a new opportunity to connect brands with consumers
  • It may also present new revenue models
  • There aren’t many branded apps yet
  • Many are still in development

Red Bull’s Roshambull app:

  • 360,000 installs
  • For the day of October 6th, 7000 people played it
  • “Our goal was to create an app that users would enjoy having on their profiles and would want to share with their friends”

Washington Post’s The Compass

  • A “political compass”-style app

TD Canada Trust’s Split It

  • Aimed at students, who have a hard time asking for/sharing money
  • Allows students sharing a residence to track expenses and split bills on Facebook
  • Launched August 2007, still looking to build user base

Brand apps get consumers talking:

  • More and more companies will be designing their own Facebook apps
  • Designing and spreading an app requires a unique set of skills
  • Success requires a solid understanding of consumer needs and wants
  • Segal: “Helping brands develop the ideal Facebook advertising solution”

Marketing Your Application Inside Facebook (Roy Pereira)

  • At the last FacebookCamp Toronto, Facebook rep Megan Marks said that there were “at least 12 different touch points for your application inside Facebook”.
  • What are these 12 ways?

Simple Advertising

  • Banners
  • Flyers (very cost-effective)
  • Sponsored news stories
  • Sponsored groups

Advertising in other applications

  • Banners in applications
  • Ads in profile box

Application Directory (“The boring way” / “Like going through the telephone book”)

  • What you say in the description, the name of your app, the icon — all go a long way

Application “Add” Page

Profile Page

  • Add the URLs for your apps in your profile’s “Web Sites” section

Status Updates

  • Promote your app in your status updates: “X is happy about his Y application”
  • Message Attachments — to wall or email
  • Invite requests


  • Different from news feed
  • Directed at a user

(External) Emails

  • Probably going to be deprecated by Facebook

Mini-Feed (“By far the best way”)

  • Mini-Feed is shown only on a user’s profile
  • Mini-Feed does not have any view/post restrictions like Newsfeed
  • Not too many apps publish to the Mini-Feed (publishStoryToUser vs. publishActionOfUser for newsfeeds)

Newsfeed — guess of what you want to see

  • Newsfeed uses rules — is based on:
    • the actions your friends take
    • the privacy settings of everyone involved
  • Send lots of feeds — use photos — make relevant to events that triggered them

Analyzing the Top Applications (Jesse Hirsch)

  • Actually, don’t look just at the top, but the “mushy middle”
  • Facebook is a “Social Operating System” — and as an emerging ecosystem, it needs diversity to survive and thrive
  • When viewing your user base, consider “Total users” vs “Active users”
  • Active users are those who touch your app every day
  • The long tail still applies in the Facebook ecosystem — see O’Reilly’s active user drop off graph

Application Approach 1: Filling a Void

  • These are apps that fill some kind of need not filled by any other Facebook feature of application
  • They have “First past the post” momentum

Application Approach 2: Infectiousness

  • Simple – Easy to understand
  • Social – Involve action towards a friend
  • Viral – Each action encourages a new user to repeat cycle
  • Involve contests and competitions that reward participation

Application Approach 3: Exchanges and Expression

  • With our friends, we engage in a shared daily narrative and collaborate on building a semi-public stage upon which to act out
  • The same need drives blogging and LiveJournal

Application Approach 4: Integration and Enhancement

  • Success often results from the relevance of the content for users in general as well as a balance when it comes to messaging and notification

Application Approach 5: Ratings, Reviews and Favorites

  • Social hierarchy is important — an organizing principle — consider the “Top Friends” app
  • Taxonomy or folksonomy adds layers of value

Successful apps are:

  • Original – they are unique and useful
  • Infections – they encourage social transfer and promotion
  • Engaging – they facilitate ongoing use and acceptance
  • Integrated – they have relevance and add value
  • Empowering – they offer control and allow organization

Cross-posted to the Tucows Developer Blog.

7 replies on “Notes from FacebookCamp Toronto 2, Part 2”

Great coverage – I will add a link to your post on my facebookcamptoronto2 post because there are a few points that I did not elaborate on that you did here.

I was really excited to listen to what they were saying at Segal, as a marketer I am interested in the possibility of extending branding efforts to facebook.

And now apparently myspace is trying to do something similar with applications? (chuckle)

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