11 Facebook Applications That Were Built to Fail

Ever since Facebook opened up its application service to third-party developers, the site has been littered with applications; some great, some good, some bad, and some really, really bad.

1. My Celebrity Boyfriend

What It Does:: Just answer a few questions about what you find important in a guy, what’s your idea of a perfect date, and your ideal car, and the quiz will spit out your perfectly matched Hollywood mate. Options include Brad Pitt, Dane Cook, John Mayer, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, and Zac Efron.

Number of Downloads:: 3,760 users, all with unanswered love letters to the Jonas Brothers.

Why It Fails:: Answer choices are a bit stereotypical and are obviously geared toward a particular result. For example, for favorite movie, choices include Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Pursuit of Happyness, High School Musical, Save the Last Dance, The Princess Bride or "anything where a hot guy is shirtless." This probably means it’s a bit skewed.

2. Which American Accent Do You Have?

What It Does:: A 9-question, text-only quiz will tell you which American region your accent hails from. You answer questions, like whether "dawn" and "don" sound the same, different, or it’s hard to tell. After completing the quiz and navigating through several annoying advertisements, the application generates an answer.

Number of Downloads:: 71,815 users, most likely all unaware of their own accent.

Why It Fails:: There are better ways to discover what type of accent you have. Nine times out of ten, it’s probably the accent local to the region where you grew up. Shocking, we know.

3. EnemyBook

What It Does:: Replace everything on your Facebook account marked as "friend" with "enemy." You can display enemies on your profile, tell your friends to enemy someone, and specify enemy details (the reasons for enmity humorously range from “[name] insulted my intelligence” to “[name] killed my parents”). You can even "flip off" an enemy instead of a nice "poke." However, your enemy only discovers your disdain if he or she too has added the application.

Number of Downloads:: Only 4,100 users since July 2007 – nice to know that the vast majority of Facebookers don’t like making enemies.

Why It Fails:: Users love campy applications, and this one is as close to over the top as you can get. So why is it failing? Facebook defines itself as “a social utility that connects people with friends.” Looks like Facebookers are uncomfortable with even joking about having real enemies.

4. Are You INSANE?

What It Does:: The wild proliferation of Facebook applications in the last few months has been enough to drive anyone a little batty. But, if you want confirmation of your sanity, check out "Are You Insane?" Questions include "What would be your rank in the army?" and “Which word best describes you – popular, unforgiving, or evil?”

Number of Downloads:: 2,024 users, about the same number of people crazy enough to switch to the New Facebook.

Why It Fails:: This application fails for the same reason that people haven’t flocked to other macabre apps like “EnemyBook” – insanity (and, truthfully, all mental illness) simply isn’t that funny. Heck, it’s not funny at all, and that’s a problem when you try to make a campy quiz about it.

5. Pirates vs. Ninjas

What It Does:: This groan-inducing app is based on a years-old viralinternet meme – who would win in a (fake) fight, a pirate or a ninja? “Pirates vs. Ninjas” is simply the next step in the debate. Upon installing this application, the user chooses to be either a katana-wielding Ninja or a peg-legged, parrot-on-your-shoulder Pirate. The fake “fighting” then begins, with users improving their prowess and rank with each victory. The icing on the cake of stupidity: upon attaining the ultimate level of ninjahood, the user is classified as a Chuck Norris-level ninja.

Number of Downloads:: 69,524 users, which translates roughly to about a million unwanted invitations for this application.

Why It Fails:: One word: obsolescence. This application’s entire shtick is based on recruiting friends to join your “army,” be it seafaring or Shogun fortress-based. Just like “Chuck Norris Facts,” this joke has overstayed its welcome.

6. Nip/Tuck: The Golden Ratio

What It Does:: Users of the Nip/Tuck Golden Ratio application will find that beauty is no longer in the eye of the beholder. Once installed, the app selects a photo of the user from his or her Facebook catalogue and analyzes whether or not the user has the facial dimensions necessary to be called “beautiful.” By using the golden ratio (pi’s lesser-known cousin) in its analysis, the application gives a beauty percentile to each user.

Number of Downloads:: 1,951 users, which means 1,951 unrealistic ideas of beauty.

Why It Fails:: It tosses any and all self-perceived notions of attractiveness out the window, unmercifully doling out cold statistics. On top of that, the app is one big commercial for the TV show “Nip/Tuck,” a racy sleaze-fest in its own right. Sign me up!

7. What type of goth are you?

What It Does:: Mostly known for their black leather apparel and gloomy outlook on life, goths are a cliquey bunch. But outsiders shouldn’t furrow their cheerful, happy brows! A techno-savvy goth from the UK created this application, which quizzes and rates users from all walks of life based on their musical taste, clothing style, and overall funereal attitude. The different varieties of goth include “Death Rocker,” “Old School,” and “Poser."

Number of Downloads:: 1,179 users – all tortured souls, or simply bored suburban teenagers? You decide.

Why It Fails:: True goths don’t need an Internet quiz to tell them who they are. Besides, one would think that people so obsessed with death would have realized that goth culture has been pushing up daisies for about ten years.

8. What type of cheese are you?

What It Does:: It’s natural for humans to assign labels to one another. It helps us to create order in a world which appears chaotic and aimless. There are pessimists and optimists, Democrats and Republicans, fighters and lovers. Now there are cheddars and mozzarellas. For those people who know that only dairy products can accurately describe them, this application asks users a number of (gasp!) cheese-related questions to determine their true identity. Maybe you're a Mozzarella (“You are very pale. Even though your skin isn't as good as a models [sic] you are still real yummy!” Other possibilities include Cheddar (“You don't have alot of friends”) and Bleu Cheese (“You are disgusting”).

Number of Downloads:: 90 users out there, and not one Swiss among them.

Why It Fails:: Aren’t there enough labels out there to define a person? Why cheese? Furthermore, who cares this much about cheese? This app must be targeting farmhands, dairy enthusiasts, and Green Bay Packers fans. It stinks worse than moldy limburger.

9. Tila Tequila Widget

What It Does:: Can’t get enough of America’s favorite bi-curious Keebler Elf look-alike reality TV star, Tila Tequila? Fear not! The Tila Tequila Widget not only advertises an infatuation with Ms. Tequila but also allows users to download wallpaper and ringtones directly to their cell phones. Her face is proudly plastered over a large chunk of the user’s Facebook page to boot. What’s not to love (except her horrendous TV show)?

Number of Downloads:: 220, which equals the same amount of people excited for the 2nd season of “A Shot at Love.”

Why It Fails:: Tila Tequila’s life is a textbook definition of “flash in the pan.” Attempting to make a revenue-cultivating Facebook app off of her celebrity is inherently problematic, especially since Ms. Tequila’s fifteen minutes of fame were up about a year ago.

10. Which American Idol Season 7 (Top 5) Contestant Are You?

What It Does:: This is a quiz created by a particularly rabid American Idol fan with too much time on his hands. It bases your American Id-entity based on six inane questions with multiple-choice answers corresponding with the eponymous final 5 contestants. The results of the test surprised us: Syesha Mercado? Remember her? Neither do we.

Number of Downloads:: 229 Simon Cowell devotees.

Why It Fails:: It’s clear that “American Idol” has enormous longevity and staying power, but this app was obsolete the minute it was created.

11. We Love Chickens

What It Does:: Facebook is a microcosm of the vast expanses of the Internet, even the ornithology-minded parts; therefore, it’s not surprising that there is an application that allows users to “Send fancy breeds of Chickens [sic] to friends.” The different breeds do not correspond to anything in particular; they’re simply just a variety of chickens. The more chickens you send to friends (who must install the app themselves), the app will “unlock” more send-able breeds of chickens.

Number of Downloads:: 215 users and no Jim Perdue among them.

Why It Fails:: We cry fowl on this application. “We Love Chickens” is an egg-cellent demonstration of how sometimes private hobbies don’t translate well into Facebook applications. The entire app consists of simply accruing more and more “breeds” (read: pictures) of chickens on the user’s Facebook page. Unless you really, really love chickens, we can’t see how this application is even remotely appealing to the average Facebooker.

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3 Comments

  • David Mullings

    Oh so true.

    I would love to see an article on the opposite too: the ones that have been successful, like Coinjar or iLike.

  • A. Lapre

    Most, if not all FB apps are annoying and really make your FB page look cluttered. I have yet to see any really useful apps or apps that are "fun" to take the time to download and share.

  • Johannes Bhakdi

    Ha, thats a fun article! Its true there is lots of crap on Facebook. We are working on a facebook application (Klatcher widget) that makes user generated content sell - I hope we don't appear in the next issue of the worst applications ;)

    Sell your content on Klatcher