Facebook will announce the five winners of its latest FbFund competition for application developers on December 8. Each of the five will win a $225,000 grant. The Facebook investors who fund the competition won’t take any equity in the startups behind the applications, but the investors will have first right of refusal in any acquisitions.
Until November 30, Facebook will promote the remaining 25 finalists by asking users to vote on their favourites.
Facebook exec Cat Lee tells us the results will help the company and its investors select five winners who will receive $225,000 each.
Help much will user votes factor? Facebook wouldn’t quantify it. Our guess: not much. The voting is probably just a smart way for Facebook to push apps it likes on users.
But from our conversation with Cat, we were able to discern five rules app developers should follow if they want to win next year’s FbFund competition:
- Solve a real world problem that’s inherently social. For an example, Cat pointed to GroupCard, which is an electronic version of those cards passed around the office for everyone to sign.
- “Flexibility,” says a Facebook rep. Developers need to be able to “work fast tweaking your app in response to user feedback.” Pro tip: Tweak even faster when Facebook tells you to, too.
- Cat told us that about a fifth of the top 25 apps use Facebook Connect, which allows users to use their Facebook IDs on other Internet sites. Cat mentioned another app that functions mostly on user’s iPhones. The point: It’s probably good if your app helps Facebook extend its reach off Facebook.com.
- Push the limits with user Notifications. Facebook tells us that realising how well user notifications help an app grow with users is the main eureka moment contestants have after they start working with Facebook’s internal developers.
- Be marketable. That’s the whole point of this. Each of the 25 finalists created a commercial for their app and Facebook pointed us to five of them in particular. Use these videos as a model for your own next year: Teach the People, Good Call Sports, GroupCard, RealGifts and vDream Racing.
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