An Appetite for Fun

In May 2007, Facebook launched the Facebook Platform, an API (application programming interface) that enables external developers—you and me and our programming friends—to build apps for Facebook profiles and pages. Apps are widgets or chunks of functionality that users can add to their personal profiles. Anybody can create an app and invite friends to add it to their profiles. Apps have been created for everything—supporting causes, playing games, expressing aspirations, and so on.

According to Adonomics, a Facebook statistics site, Facebook has over 45,000 apps that are collectively used more than 35 million times a day. The top apps developed by third parties have more than a million active users. That's a lot of activity, ...

Get Friends with Benefits now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.