These days folks developing apps on facebook are getting the most love from the press & blogs. I see startups all the time that work on their facebook strategy and how they are going to conquor the universe on the back of Facebook. I’m seeing less people think about building on top of Firefox even though the Firefox audience is pretty darn big.
Last week I was thinking about my own experience using Facebook applications (by 3rd parties) vs using Firefox extensions (3rd parties by definition). And I was thinking about how those two platforms have very different business models, market opportunities and user experiences.
Facebook is great but most of my engagement on Facebook are facebook native capabilities, not by 3rd parties. Having said that, these are my favorites so far:
I know Slide and RockYou are widly popular but they kinda don’t do it for me. Using those apps inside of facebook feels too constrained. I use Flickr, Veoh and my blog instead.
On the other hand, I have a long list of favorite Firefox extensions that I use every day. My favorites, in no particular order, are:
And there are lots more. And I’m not even counting bookmarklets such as Citebrite & Tumblr.
I like that those Firefox applications enhance my online life. They don’t compete with my attention or my habits. They just make it better. And I like that Firefox developers don’t have to live in a world where they lie awake at night worried that the platform company is going to make life hard for them. They can choose how they monetize and how they interact with the user. They don’t have to live inside of a box called the Canvas page.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for my friends at Facebook. It’s an amazing company and I’m cheering for their continued success. They are innovating like crazy and getting the rewards.
But I’m not sure their success is going to work for all the app developers that are depending on it.
What do you think?