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Marketers Start Your Engines

Popular social networking sites Facebook and Friendster have opened up their API, and entered into the realm of community (and corporate) development. In what can be interpreted as a marketer’s wet dream, these sites have opened themselves to third-party application developers, allowing programmers, service providers, and marketers to tap into their popular fanbases to push related technologies and products.

Much like the open Flickr API, this leap into openness will not only allow growth in application creation, but will allow marketers to tap into the delicious and hard-to-tap age group. Social development and openness will only make these online social communities more social. I look forward to seeing what comes to fruition. What are your impressions?

One Comment

  1. John Somerton
    John Somerton March 14, 2007

    Marketers will most certainly find a way to tap the community base of these sites, but I don’t see it happening in a traditional “push” fashion.
    Push/interruption marketing to these groups is akin to the marketer trying to force their way into an established community to which they were neither invited nor do they share the same values and goals and general disposition. The community could possibly be “infiltrated” but I think that’s inefficient at best and will not hold up over the long term.
    Instead you’ll end up seeing brand new communities sprout up – “mashups” that use the Friendster/Facebook API along with the many other service APIs that already exist on the net (e.g. google maps) to create an entirely new application/community bonded around new goals made possible by the APIs leveraged in an innovative way.
    The marketers can still tackle the “segment” they’re after by taking this approach, but it now becomes a task new product creation in order to capture an existing audience. Not quite so easy as push marketing – but much meatier to the ones who get it right.

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