CondeNet's Modest Facebook Success

CondeNet appears to be boasting to MediaWeek that it has figured out how to capitalise on the Facebook boom. This would be noteworthy, since no other established media company has been able to do much with Facebook yet.  In fact, the only people (besides Facebook’s employees and investors) who seem to have transformed Facebook’s popularity into money have been a handful of app-makers.

Alas, that’s what Conde Nast’s web unit is actually talking about: In June, it bought an app called “What Are You Wearing” — and now the app has 90,000 users. Conde says those numbers are increasing by 1,000 a day, but even that growth rate puts the program firmly in the Facebook app long tail. To qualify as a real Facebook-app success story, apps need to be a lot closer to a million users these days.

Still, nothing wrong with experimenting, and to Conde’s credit, that’s what they say they’re doing. They’ve recently started selling ads on the app, via their nascent Flip social network, and while the revenue won’t cover more than a couple meals at the 4 Times Square cafeteria (the most optimistic effective CPMs we’ve heard of Facebook apps pulling down top out around $20), it’s still…something.

For Flip, bringing brands to these apps is not so much about generating revenue immediately, said publisher Jane Grenier: “The real value is to remain ahead of the curve in terms of learning. We’re looking downstream more specifically at monetization.” Since Facebook doesn’t look to profit from its apps, Grenier said, the free exposure is invaluable for the fledgling Flip.

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