Appbistro Is Building An Application Marketplace For Facebook Pages

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Appbistro launched at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference what can best be referred to as an application marketplace for Facebook Pages.

Using the Web-based service, Facebook Page administrators, be it global brands or small local businesses, can quickly discover relevant applications that they can (and should) swiftly integrate into their Facebook presence(s).

Using the directory, organizations can more easily determine which applications might help them increase the level of interaction on, the reach and engagement of said pages. An added benefit of using the Appbistro directory is that the applications that are available on the marketplace are built by known and vetted Facebook developers, including feature apps like Foursquare, Yelp, and more.

The background of one of the co-founders of the startup undoubtedly lends heaps of credibility to the venture: Ryan Merket happens to know his way around social media and third-party platform applications.

Developers in turn can go to this page to start selling their applications through the Appbistro marketplace. There will be multiple-tied pricing model that the company will explain in more detail at a later stage.

You can read more about his background on CrunchBase, but here are the relevant highlights: Merket was one of the co-founders of Ping.fm (which was sold to Seesmic earlier this year) and Workstir.com. He gained a lot of experience on Facebook applications as a Senior Social Designer for CBS Interactive, and even went on to assume the role of Associate on the Facebook Developer Network team for about a year before starting Appbistro. At Facebook, he evangelized and supported major brands in implementing Facebook Connect.

Pretty big plus right there.

Feedback and Q&A:

Jeffrey Bussgang: Do app developers have to sign up?
Answer: no, there are featured applications in there already that we’ve hand-picked and vetted.

Chris Fralic: I think you should have explained more about what’s in it for the developers.

Philip Kaplan: Great job. But the challenge will be getting buyers to come to the marketplace besides sellers.
Reaction: we’re partnering with agencies to get brands to the marketplace, and the rest will come from viral marketing.

Josh Williams: really interesting, and your background makes me confident in your chances to pull this off.

Second round presentation and expert feedback

The problem with Facebook Page tabs: will companies actually pay for them? They already are, according to Appbistro CEO Ryan Merket. The market size is huge, they add.

The business model: 70/30 revenue share with developers, and selling B2B advertising directly.

For investors, one of the big pluses is the team, the combination of Zappos and Facebook experience. Ryan Merket: “I know how to sell these things.”

Q&A

Chris Fralic: What if Facebook will start a marketplace of their own?

Response: they’re concentrating on the social graph, not what we’re trying to do.

Josh Williams: how many tabs will brands add to their Pages, are they going to be willing to pay for them?

Response: we have tiered pricing, so if you have more fans, you pay more.

Jeffrey Bussgang: what does the economy look like today?

Response: look at Wildfire. They were profitable after 1 month. Market economics is a bit up in the air.

Jeffrey Bussgang: what’s the market size?

Response: I’d say in the $500 million range.

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