The big news of today is that the Facebook application ‘Where I’ve Been’, has been bought by TripAdvisor for $3 million. Whilst I wouldn’t say that TripAdvisor had bagged a bargain, it may be a rather shrewd investment.
At the time of buying ‘Where I’ve Been’ it was reported as being embedded on 2.3 million users pages, approximately $1.30 per user. Whilst this may sound a lot, if it translates into 2.3 million permanent adverts for TripAdvisor it suddenly doesn’t seem so outrageous. This is in addition to the press coverage the acquisition is likely to attract. It should also be remembered that Facebook is not a static network, but rather is growing at a phenomenal rate and the application is likely to be embedded on many more pages in the weeks to come.
Those early applications that have created enough of a buzz are likely to see a host of established companies swooping in to buy them up, which in turn will increase the number of Facebook users and applications as everyone wants a bit of the action. If networks such as Bebo and MySpace don’t want to fall out of the race they need to open up their platforms and hope for some big buy-outs to get the public interest in their sites.
The big question is, can TripAdvisor successfully use the application to drive people to their web site without compromising the original application?
UPDATED: And then it is all change on the rumour mill, with the takeover being denied. Nonetheless I still don’t think it will be long before many of these applications are being picked up for silly money.