Facebook Connect for Entrepreneurs
by Justin Osofsky - September 15, 2009 at 1:34pm

We're excited to host today's Facebook Developer Garage at TechCrunch50 in San Francisco. At this global competition for start-ups, we're inspired by the innovative business models, and we're particularly excited by those powered by Facebook.

Building a new technology start-up on the social Web means that you need building blocks. Facebook provides these tools, including identity for a great registration system and immediate access to 300 million active users. Facebook Connect gives entrepreneurs of all sizes the ability to build traffic efficiently through reaching a relevant audience, while offering an engaging user experience where content is consumed and interacted with in a social context.

From mobile phones to websites and gaming consoles, entrepreneurs are building with Facebook to give people ways to connect with their real friends, anywhere. We've seen many businesses successfully iterate on established models, but start-ups are leading this trend. Two weeks ago, fbFund's REV showcased several businesses powered by Facebook and several more are launching at TechCrunch50 this week, including Freedom Speaks and RefMob.

Facebook Connect integrations range from quite simple to the much more advanced. Many sites get started with the basics to add incremental value -- by implementing Facebook Social Widgets, such as the Share button, Comments Box, Live Stream Box, and Fan Box, to drive traffic and make the experience more engaging. And we want to make this easier. We will continue to build great widgets and make them easily accessible on Widget Central, our new destination for social widgets. In addition, we're continuing to improve our Facebook Connect resources for developers to make it easier for you to learn and implement.

We also want to help you make your good Facebook Connect integrations great. Like any successful website or application, building with Facebook requires optimization and iteration. We've identified three levers to optimize with Facebook Connect:

  1. Increase the number of connected users.
  2. Increase the publish rate per user.
  3. Increase the click-through-rate on Facebook stories.

But what does this mean in practice?

Gregg Spiridellis, CEO of JibJab, is joining us at TechCrunch50 to share best practices. Since 1999, JibJab has been in the business of helping people laugh, through its original online programming. JibJab deeply integrated numerous Facebook Connect features, including simplified login, access to friends, birthday data, user photos and friends' photos, and most importantly, distribution capabilities for users to post content to their own stream or to a friend's Wall. Its Facebook Connect implementation helped attract 100,000 active users in just two months, and users click on their Facebook stories approximately seven times more than e-mail stories.

JibJab's approach illustrates how to turn a good Facebook Connect implementation into a great one. We look forward to seeing the next great Facebook integration from you!

Justin, who leads Connect Marketing, wishes he could rock out like David Swain.