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How and When to Get on the. Neal Bhamre Principal Analyst, The Code Works Inc. Sean Shannon Principal Engineer, The Code Works Inc. . Facebook Train. How and When to Get on the Facebook Train. Is the FB train arriving, departing or late leaving the station?

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neal bhamre principal analyst the code works inc sean shannon principal engineer the code works inc

How and When to Get on the

Neal BhamrePrincipal Analyst, The Code Works Inc. Sean ShannonPrincipal Engineer, The Code Works Inc.

Facebook Train

how and when to get on the facebook train
How and When to Get on the Facebook Train
  • Is the FB train arriving, departing or late leaving the station?
  • What does it take to get on board?
  • Lessons Learned
  • Resources
facebook market overview
Facebook Market Overview
  • Social networking growth
  • Facebook population breakdown
  • Facebook demographics shift
  • Facebook application growth
social networking year over year growth
Social Networking Year over Year growth
  • In general social networking is expanding at 25% worldwide. The much larger existing base in North America makes such growth unlikely, but the sheer number of new registrants is astounding.
facebook is the pacesetter among sn sites
Facebook is the pacesetter among SN sites
  • Whilst there has been generally strong growth among all social networking sites, Facebook’s growth has been by far the greatest – outpacing the growth of the Internet itself year over year
facebook geographic distribution
Facebook Geographic Distribution
  • Facebook is growing all over the world. Whilst, the majority of users (new and old) are in the US and Canada, the pace of growth in Europe and Asia are an indicator of just how popular Facebook has become.
facebook s demographic is shifting
Facebook’s Demographic is Shifting
  • During the past year, the traditional demographic at Facebook has shifted dramatically in the US. Traditionally, Facebook targeted 18-25 year-old users. Whilst that group is still the largest demographic, the fastest growing segments is young to middle professionals (25-44 y.o.)
  • The 18-25 year old demographic will become less than half the US market for the first time by the end of this year (currently 51%)
  • Worldwide, the effect is less dramatic in that growth in the youth sector (13-25) is still the strongest due to new market penetrations outside of the US and Canada
  • The core 18-44 year old demographic (advertisers core market) is now 80% of the overall population
facebook current age breakdown
Facebook Current Age Breakdown

Source: O’Reilly, Sept 08

facebook s applications
Facebook’s Applications
  • The growth of available Facebook applications is also astounding
  • Since inception at least 7,000 applications have been built
    • This number is uncertain as the latest data is from June 08
    • Some applications have been built, deployed and removed and are not included in the 7k
  • Over 100 new applications are made available each day
  • 80% of users have use at least one application built on the Facebook platform
  • …but 87% of the traffic goes to 2% of the applications

Source: O’Reilly - Oct 07, Facebook - June 08

facebook s marketing opportunities
Facebook’s Marketing Opportunities
  • Advertising
    • Banner Ads
    • Contextual/NewsFeed/Flyer Ads
  • Marketing
    • Facebook Pages
    • Sponsored Groups/Functions
  • Word of Mouth/Interaction
    • Applications
    • “Fans”
  • Intelligence
    • Profiles and Network information
    • Public Groups

Source: Facebook, June 08

facebook s advertising
Facebook’s Advertising
  • Facebook has gone heavy into advertising sales
  • The effectiveness of these ads is questionable:
    • Very low click-through rates
    • Poor targeting
  • Poor historic performance is at least in part due to their traditional demographic (which is changing)
  • The targeting system is largely self-service and allows users to make their own mistakes
  • …but questions remain in their audience tagging as it applies to advertising

Source: Facebook, June 08

targeting the right audience

Self-service “Choose Audience” tools can segment by:

    • 30 Countries, States, Cities
    • Sex and Age Range
    • Keywords in Profile
    • Educational Status
    • Workplace Networks
    • Political Views
    • Relationship States
  • But there appear to be glitches in the system:
    • Ads for any goods or service including applications can somehow be misdirected
Targeting the Right Audience

Source: Facebook, June 08

some of this is in flux

In response to these issues, Facebook is about to a new advertising program called “Engagement Advertising” which they announced in August, 2008

  • The goal of the program is take advantage of the social aspects of the system in promoting ads
  • Relies principally on word of mouth promotions:
    • Leaving comments which the user’s network can read
    • “Gifting” the ad to your network in order to receive some benefit
    • “Becoming a fan” of the underlying product or application
  • The goal is to fulfill the promise of the social network to their advertisers
Some of this is in Flux

Source: ComputerWorld, August 08

recruiting on facebook
Recruiting on Facebook
  • Trends
  • Detailed examples
  • Facebook has long been a source of recruiting recent college grads
    • Ernst and Young were there in 2006 and has at least three different locations running simultaneously
  • Now, recruiters are targeting mid-career professionals as the demographics have changed
  • Individuals are taking advantage of the open network and its tools to get themselves recruited
  • The job boards are integrating their offerings with Facebook
  • Companies that recruit similar individuals (e.g., “I’d hire all of the Petroleum engineers I could find”) are creating and targeting networks of like-minded, like-educated members
  • Companies are using the system to keep in touch with former employees or prospective employees even as they avoid transactional “sales” to these potential candidates

Facebook App Dev Process

Develop Facebook Killer Idea

Define Goals


Code, Test & Deploy



Market to Engage Users

the killer idea

The Killer Idea
  • What’s a great idea? Something that…
    • Harnesses the viral aspect of Facebook – wider candidate base
    • Gets you a deeper knowledge of the candidate
    • Generates a new stream of revenue
  • It also has to be compelling in its content and offering to attract users
  • It should be guided by strategy (e.g., overall operational strategies and goals)
  • “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t work. It needs to be effectively targeted and marketed.
  • Think of your first web sites (e.g., “brochure-ware”). Don’t make the same mistakes that firms did in the 90s – recognize that Facebook is an environment, not just a location

defining goals
Defining Goals
  • Set your goals
    • Verbalize your goal
      • Can you explain it in a simple sentence?
    • Write down your goals.
      • Do they overlap?
      • Are there dependencies?
      • Are they consistent with company core values?
      • Sketch out wireframes for reference, expect many edits
    • Prioritize, Strategize
      • If you had to choose, which would be the first goal to accomplish?
      • Gain a large following, then herd them towards other goals

design facebook application
Design Facebook Application

Review Facebook Basics

Home Page, Profile Page, Lingo, Architecture

Get Started with Smiley ;)

Hone Design

design facebook application facebook lingo
Design Facebook Application:Facebook Lingo


News Feed







Developer App



Info Block


  • Messaging
    • Inbox
  • Friends
    • Write on their wall
    • Send a message
    • Poke
    • Invite
  • Misc
    • For the social glossary of terms check out
  • Developer Application
    • Dev Wiki
    • Dev Forum
    • Dev Bugzilla
  • Platform
    • FBML
    • FBJS
    • API
    • FQL
  • Your Application
    • Allocations
    • About Page
    • Callback URL
    • Canvas

design facebook application facebook architecture 5000 level
Design Facebook Application:Facebook Architecture (5000’ Level)

Browser Client

http request





REST over http

My Apache / PHP Server

design facebook application get started with smiley
Design Facebook Application:Get Started with Smiley

Smiley is a sample app that showcases functionality of the new FB platform. Here’s how to get started:

Sign-up as a FB Developer (any FB user can)

Download the FB Sample App

Deploy to Your Public Server

Create Application instance on Facebook Dev App

Create Test Users

Experiment with page interactivity, profile updates and notifications to friends

design facebook application hone design
Map functionality and components to your goals

Identify application paths

Determine click “integration points”

Draft wireframes for your development & QA teams

Design Facebook Application:Hone Design

code test deploy
Code, Test & Deploy

Identify Required Skills

Develop Project Plan

Source Team


Production Manager*





code test deploy identify required skills
Code, Test & Deploy:Identify Required Skills

Languages, Frameworks, Platforms, IDEs


Javascript / FBJS

PHP, Ruby, Java, more…, Apache, MySQL, Linux

.Net, C# 2008, Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2005+, IIS, Windows Server 2008


Industry Knowledge


Large Scale Architecture

Search Engine Optimization

Search Marketing

code test deploy develop project plan
Code, Test & Deploy:Develop Project Plan

Design – coming up with a good idea is the hardest part

Chunk the plan, A-B Strategies

Development time: 2-12 weeks, $2k - $100k

Marketing & promotions costs: $1k-$40k

Ongoing development and marketing costs

code test deploy sourcing
Code, Test & Deploy:Sourcing

Internal – train-up an existing resource

Internal – new hires

Internal + Consultants

Internal + offshore


Time to production

Phase of development



Maintenance Cycle

code test deploy resources
Code, Test & Deploy:Resources

Jesse Stay’s book "FBML Essentials“ and blog 30% off! coupon code: FM3DSApplies to FBML Essentials book or PDF

Facebook Developer Forums & Wiki

Codeplex Facebook Developer Toolkit

Facebook Developer Garage Silicon Valley - affiliated with SCVWB, can also find them on Facebook

Blogroll: – developer blog - Social networking news

Techcrunch -

Silicon Valley WebBuilder (SVWB) -

Bar Camp -

weekly cycle
Weekly Cycle

Deploy latest feature set

Gather site metrics

Repeat Cycle Weekly or Daily

Make changes & test

Analyze data & identify potential tweaks

Decide changes

sample metrics
Sample Metrics

Google Analytics


Page Visits

Bounce Rate

New Visits

Global Reach

Internal Analysis

Click Path Effectiveness (A/B testing)

Forum Participation


Goal Attainment

“Social Wine Club”

Borrows from .com site

Enhances social feature set


Toast! Share Wines




My Cellar

.Net 2.0

MSSQL 2000

Shared data with existing web site

Data integration with third party providers

In-house design + Consultants

Some offshore help

facebook marketing agencies
Facebook Marketing Agencies

Facebook Ads

Ultra-popular Apps Feed Users To Yours

RockYou! (.50 /user)



Internal Product Placement

fb app lessons learned
FB App Lessons Learned

Follow Facebook App Guiding Principles

Mirror the Facebook culture and conventions

Pay attention to user experience design, including performance issues (e.g. too many roundtrips, time outs)

Don’t build the whole app in one shot, start small and add new functionality weekly

Request FB app directory listing asap – can take weeks/months

Leverage built-in tools to promote your applications

Be vigilant about embedding measurements into functionality

Tweak the app weekly based on what’s working and what’s not

Take emotion out of your analysis

Focus on getting quality users not quantity – expect this to be an ongoing effort and budget for it

the latest facebook news
The Latest Facebook News

Recent developments:

The New Platform

Larger canvas (now 800 pixels)

Fewer layout issues

More functionality (more FB tags)

Facebook Connect (Beta started Summer 2008)

Single Sign On (your FB users need only one login)

App can reach in and update the user’s profile

Access FB without having to be in FB


May not always be FREE to publish FB apps

facebook takes over the world
Facebook Takes Over the World

The Facebook O/S?

Email Replacement?

Facebook Connect

contact information
Contact Information

Neal 415.377.7246


408.993.1770 ext.123