At his keynote yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg announced the first recipients of grants from the fbFund – the $10 million pile of money from the Founders Fund and Accel Partners to fund Facebook apps.
The apps are pretty varied, and all of them are “useful” in some sense — a new priority for the social network. That said, we were surprised to see there wasn’t a single game on the list – although maybe Facebook game developers have plenty of dollars available through other sources.
Here are our five favourite fbFund winners (listed alphabetically):
- Carpool: We singled this app out as one that “doesn’t suck” way back in March, and we stand by that. Carpool provides users an easy way to share rides with people. It’s dependent on the network effect for success — it only works if lots of people use it. But $5 gas may help spur uptake.
- Challenge: Most of the normal social interaction on Facebook is friendly — you comment on your friends’ photos or profiles. Challenge is different – it pits you against your friends in a task that you choose (Run 50 miles in 10 days, etc.) The winner gets bragging rights — or will, when the app goes live.
- ConnectedWeddings: Use the Web, Facebook, and your iPhone to plan your wedding. If it works, it will pose a problem for The Knot.
- LuckyCal: This might be our favourite app. LuckyCal notes your music and sports preferences, and creates a calendar for you based on when you’re favourite band is coming to town or the next time your favourite baseball team plays. You can also import your own external calendar.
- MyListo: This app lets you recommend products to your friends, notify your friends about deals, and tell them what’s on your wishlist. A smart, simple program that is everything Beacon should have been.