Facebook flags move towards movies, books and fitness apps


Facebook has highlighted opportunities for app developers after indicating its next major app categories will be movies, books and fitness, having conquered categories such as gaming.


Speaking at a conference in the United States, Facebook’s vice president of partnerships, Dan Rose, said a new round of categories will drive the next wave of Facebook’s app ecosystem.


Having conquered categories such as gaming and music, dominated by big-name players such as Zynga and Spotify, Rose said Facebook’s next round of content discovery apps will probably be movies, books and fitness applications.


Facebook users can expect to see a lot more mentions of the types of movies and television shows their friends are watching.


Rose said the social network wants to enable partners to use the data that users share about the content they like, and enable developers to provide better recommendations.


According to Rose, books are another interesting category.


“When you read a book, you’re investing five to 10 hours of your time. We want to make sure that’s a good use of our time,” he said.


Meanwhile, the move into fitness apps is being driven by an increasingly mobile group of users and apps connected with Facebook, enabling users to share information about the routes they run, exercises they do, etc.


Foad Fadaghi, research director at technology analyst firm Telsyte, told StartupSmart the move into new app categories highlights opportunities for Australian developers.


“Facebook is the largest social network in the world and has a large user base of engaged consumers that are virally interacting with each other,” he says.


“Overall, the platform presents opportunities for Australian developers to make use of that.


“It comes down to the execution of how [an app] is created and the level of competition developers face in particular categories.


“Typically, there’s only one or two main winners in categories of apps. People tend to gravitate towards one.”


For this reason, developers need to ensure their app is not only a standout but is brought to the market quickly, Fadaghi says.


“Both are equally important – to have the best idea, first,” he says.


“Often, the best idea is an iterative thing and maybe not the first offering that generally wins out. It’s a balance, I guess.”


The move into new app categories comes after Facebook unveiled Graph Search, which gathers information from Facebook profiles, pages and information, and presents the results to the user.