Over the past few years, Facebook has literally taken over. Reportedly spending over $22 billion in acquisitions, the social media titan has expanded its presence through companies like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Parse. Now, with its extensive arsenal, the company has taken to teaming up and tackling a bigger business venture involving startups.
With the company's new program FbStart, app developers can work with Facebook and its partners to turn their ideas into something that can be easily downloaded and desired by all. Oh, and did we forget to mention it's completely free?
Free "Goodies" Could Take Your Startup to the Next Level
FbStart was originally open only to developers who attended the annual f8 conference. It is now open to any developer with an app that has been live for more than 30 days on the Apple or Google Play app store. With applications pouring in from over 60 countries, Facebook has already accepted over 500 developers, and more than half are coming from outside the U.S.
Once accepted, Facebook and its partners put the lucky company in one of two main tracks: the "Bootstrap Track" for startups that are newer and less established on the market (an $8,000 package of tools and services) or the "Accelerate Track" which is for more established and start-ups that are already growing (a $40,000 package with preferential status). Also, both will receive free Facebook Ad credit totaling five hundred dollars.
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While most of the apps are not worth much now, they could be potential "gold mines" for future advertising. Facebook's Vijay Shankar wrote about the FbStart program in a blog post saying, "Facebook will offer events, programs, and best practices for participating developers, with the expectation of year-round opportunities to engage with the Facebook team. By providing mobile app developers with the essential services you need to get your business up and running or to take it to the next step of growth, we're hoping to help expand the overall app ecosystem."
Building a $70 Billion Dollar Industry Even Bigger
The start-up program intends to help developers "build, grow, and monetize their apps using Facebook," along with the help of its partners who will help "with product testing, recruiting, customer care, video conferencing, document management and more." Tapping into this estimated $77 billion dollar market could mean big bucks for not only Facebook, but companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon; all of which have also been trying to increase their presence in the mobile world.
According to a recent study conducted by Ad Age and RBC Capital Markets, about 84% of respondents reported using Facebook as their dominant social-media marketing channel. Most people have realized that desktop websites just won't cut it anymore, and that using mobile sites to help with marketing is crucial to reach customers. Starting your own site and making sure to have it optimized for mobile devices is a detail that many businesses are beginning to realize is of the utmost importance.
Apply Today, Start Growing Tomorrow
Have more than one app you want to kick-start into high gear? Submit them both. Is your app not integrated with Facebook yet? They don't discriminate. While spots are filling up at an impressive rate, there is still some room left in Facebook's new venture. The first batch of developers expects to "graduate" as early as April 30, 2015. Apply today and watch your app grow.
Here's a complete list of current FbStart partners:
- Adobe - Creative Services
- Parse - Cloud Services
- Appurify - Mobile App Testing
- Asana - Project Management
- Blue Jeans - Cloud-based video collaboration service
- Desk.com - Customer support app
- Hootsuite - Social media monitoring
- MailChimp - Email marketing
- Proto.io - Mobile app prototyping
- Quip - Mobile Productivity suite
- SurveyMonkey - Online survey platform
- Transifex - Localization
- UserTesting - Usability testing
- Workable - Recruitment
- Appmethod - Cross-platform app building
- Braintree - Mobile payment platform
- Get Satisfaction - Online customer connection
You can visit developers.facebook.com for more information and applications.