How much do you know about your favorite baseball team? Who are your best Facebook friends? Which pin-up girl do you most identify with? The passing about of seemingly inane quiz-style apps on Facebook is a pastime for some and a nuisance for others. But to advertisers, it’s user engagement. Now, Seattle-based AppBank has created a Facebook app that provides users with the tools to churn out their own apps featuring AppBank’s targeted ads. It even shares a cut of the ad revenue with the app’s creator. Welcome to the age of the amateur app developer.
AppBank, which launched in beta today, provides a quick four-step process for Facebook app creation inside the user’s own Facebook page. First you choose what kind of app you want to create (a trivia or personality quiz, a gifting app, or a name decoder). Then you provide a name and description. Finally you add content (trivia questions, gifts to give, etc.). The App walks you through the simple method of taking the app live, and faster than you can ask “Which Gossip Girl are you?” your app is sent to your friends and the money starts rolling in. Well, potentially anyhow.
Far from rudimentary, AppBank’s tools lets you polish your apps so they take on a professional appearance, with embedded images and even YouTube movies. A dashboard pumps out numbers, derived from Facebook, that track the app’s performance–it even tells you where in the U.S. the app is getting the most traction. It includes stats on the app’s financial performance, and breaks down its daily or weekly take.
As for the financial incentive, AppBank places targeted banner ads (companies like Netflix and Victoria’s Secret are in the networks supported by AppBank) within the apps based on the content of the app and the kinds of users who are making the app popular. Just how lucrative can a silly facebook quiz be? The most popular apps coming out of AppBank pull in $700-$1,000 per month, no sum to scoff at for that “Which breed of lap dog do you most resemble?” app you pulled together while you were supposed to be doing your real job.
Will user-generated apps strike a nerve with Facebook’s 300 million-strong community and garner some serious clicks? It’s appealing to advertisers, and could be lucrative for users in tune with popular memes. Just try to keep your apps tasteful, or at least legal. While opening app development to the masses should provide some good fun (and a fair degree of nuisance), there are some questions that just aren’t funny.