The Facebook Problem? Huh? (Scratches head) People, the same rules still apply!

The web is talking about the "problems" with the new Facebook platform.

Brad says, "...as far as I can tell, none of these Facebook apps
developers are deriving any real benefits ... other than customer
acquisition".

Last time I checked, customer acquisition was a real benefit, no?   Don't people usually pay for customer acquisition?  As far as I'm concerned, the main reason why I suggested that Oddcast build a Voki app for Facebook was exactly that... to get more users.  That's a phenomenal benefit for developers.   Oh, wait.. is Facebook also supposed to invent a business model for you, too.  That's like saying that AdSense sucks because it doesn't promise you customer conversions too, just traffic.

From Inside Facebook... "Where I’ve Been has struck a nerve with travelers, and now has over 400,000 users
on Facebook! It’s creating serious challenges for Craig: keeping the
servers running is getting pricey, and he’s not making any money from
his app."

The problem of not making money with your app is not a Facebook problem.  Its your problem!  It shouldn't be up to Facebook to figure out your business model, too!  Figure out a way to monetize your audience.  If no one wants to pay for the Where I've Been app or you can't figure out how to stick relevant travel ads on it, then it shouldn't exist.  If the Where I've Been app existed at whereivebeen.com, it would have the same exact issues.  Facebook is not a parallel universe where the rules of needing a business model don't apply.   This is real life, folks... and if you can't figure out a way to get the bills paid, well, sorry...   This isn't Facebook's fault.  Don't put your mouth in front of the firehose and than complain that the water comes out too fast and that you have a small bladder. 

Fred thinks the issue is "...Invite overload and application noise. I cannot keep track of all the
invites I am getting, both the standard invites and the application
invites. And what's worse, I can't keep track of all the applications
that all of my friends are using."

I don't really think this is a Facebook specific problem either.  In fact, its actually a testament to how pure the signal usually is on Facebook.   Right now, I have 25 posts in my newsfeed.  Of the 25, 8 of them are notifications related to my friends adding or subtracting applications.  The rest are actual usage of those apps, like Twitter updates, or people adding photos or friends or whatever they usually do on Facebook.  That might be a lot, but compare that to my e-mail inbox.  Of my last 25 threads in Gmail, 14 of them were not from humans.  They were confirmations from purchases, notifications for folks joining the nextNY mailing list, ads, etc.   On top of that, 4 more were blog comment notifications, which were initiated by humans at least, but not direct conversations. 

I'm sure Facebook will adjust this issue, though, but it's not a huge problem.  At some point, there will be equilibrium in the app world and people won't be adding or subtracting nearly as many apps.  Plus, I don't really need to know when someone took something down... and maybe I shouldn't need to know that someone added something.  If you invite me, fine... but I don't need to see that people are just playing.

In any case, I think the same basic rules of needing a business model, needing to be compelling enough to stand out from the crowd, needing to scale, etc. still apply in Facebook.  Let's not forget that.  It's still the web, people, not Fantasyland.