Comparing Facebook Applications – Books – Early Results   1 comment

Over the last few days, I took bookshelves/book lists as a sample application category and started comparing few. See what this will teach me.
To find candidates, I looked at what my fb friends are using, and at fb’s own application search. I chose three:
– Visual Bookshelf (most used by my friends)
– Books iRead (the only other one few of them used)
– books (promising-looking search result)
– Movies – as a comparison
Criteria emerging so far are:
– easy in comparing your reads with friends’: here Visual Bookshelf seems better
– easy in finding books and rating them: VB and iR are equivalent, iR is much better at proposing you books – relevant ones, that is – alongside those you are recording
– timeliness and consistency of posts to mini-feed: VB issues news in real time; iR scatters over days news about changes you apply at a same time
– easy import from Amazon: VB rules – that made a significant difference for me
– multimedia rating: iR provides the opportunity to record videos, movies, videogames and other, it’s the only one
Interestingly enough, each of them scores poorly in what must be a fb application’s "core business" or driving you to use it and enter information by comparing what you do with what your friends do – the assumption being if you are doing such things on a social networking site, you must value sharing this kind of feedback. Movies is much better at that by proposing you to rate few dozen movies and comparing your rates with your friends’ into a compatibility/likeness test.
Actually, the real core business, from the application’s own point of view, is to get you to invite friends to use them – the viral dimension. There, again, Movies wins hands off. Good that each application lets you opt out of this gracefully.

Posted June 25, 2008 by Gianluca Marcellino in Computer e Internet

One response to “Comparing Facebook Applications – Books – Early Results

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  1. Hey Gianluca,Thanks for the favorable (somewhat ;D) review of the Visual Bookshelf. Adam L here from, the siite behind the Visual Bookshelf on Facebook. For us, we see the core competency of the application being to support a vibrant community of readers within the Facebook experience, where the experience for each user includes both real-Facebook friends and other users from the application that aren\’t known. I also encourage you to check out to check out how in ties in with Facebook (and even other social networks across the web).Regards,Adam


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