Enhancing the user experience
We see interactive web applications all the time, so the natural question to ask is, “what makes Facebook applications special?”. To learn about this, let's first look at the different types of applications.
There are many genres under which these applications can be classified: Entertainment, Socializing, Utility and Productivity are some examples. However, the biggest and most lucrative genre has always been ‘Games'. Users can play Games on many web sites across the Internet, however, when they play a game on Facebook, they can bring their friends into their game, compete with them, play alongside them, taunt them, congratulate them, ask for their help and much more. Games are just so much more fun when played with friends.
Other applications can also be enhanced via Facebook's social features. For example, an application might be in the business of rating restaurants, providing a new-aged yellow pages for people through which they can find several restaurants and choose one to go to. When the social layer from Facebook is added upon this concept, you suddenly can have a much more relevant list of restaurants, one which contains reviews & ratings given by your friends or restaurants in close proximity to you.
So who benefits from these applications?
First and foremost, for any application be successful, it is important that the users are benefiting a great deal from it. This is the only way people will keep coming back to the application and that should always be the application developer's goal.
Secondly, from a developer or owner's benefit point of view, the application can be created for a variety of reasons:
What makes a good Facebook application?
While it is not as simple as a checklist of do's and don'ts to determine a good Facebook application, there are common practices which could be considered common sense or general knowledge. Keeping these in mind when putting together a Facebook application can help you go a long way.
Facebook app development has come a long way and continues to evolve on a daily basis. New rules, hurdles, features, and users get thrown into the mix every single day. This keeps the space extremely exciting and at the same time very challenging. Ultimately, having a strong concept a good foundation, fantastic user experience, ethical development practice and patience will get you far in the space.