Monday, November 17, 2008

Monetization: How Much Can I Make From Advertising With My Facebook App?

Another question I get from developers all the time: how much money can I make on Facebook?

Shocking, I know that some people care about money when it comes to Facebook apps. <cynicism>Wait...I think that's all most developers care about. </cynicism>

At the moment, there's only one publicly traded app developer, SNAP Interactive. <cynicism>Keep your fingers Max Levchin (Slide), it'll happen for you too one day, I'm sure of it!</cynicism>

Fortunately for us, SNAP Interactive has to publish their revenues, which currently comes exclusively from advertising on the dating apps on Facebook. Those apps: Are You Interested? (#1 dating app on Facebook), Meet New People, and Flirt With Me.

Here's the numbers from the SEC filing:

Revenue increased from $286 for the six months ended June 30, 2007 to $1,053,159 for the six months ended June 30, 2008, an increase of $1,052,873.
That's right, zero to a million in revenue in one year. Not bad. Especially, if you look at the expense side.
Operating Expenses for the six months ended June 30, 2008 increased to $717,349 from $277,634 for the six months ended June 30, 2007, representing an increase of $439,715.
That's ~$300,000 in profit. A 30% profit margin. And it looks like that doesn't include the founder's salary. Nice.

Hosting costs, <cynicism>for all you STILL writing business plans...poor bastards</cynicism>are as follows:
Hosting Expense for the six months ended June 30, 2008 increased to $87,512 from $0, representing an increase of $87,512. These increases are attributable to the need for substantial hosting infrastructure and server capacity to handle the high volume of traffic that our applications receive. Our need for a customized hosting solution was minimal at this time last year.
Read the rest of their filing here. Trust me, if you haven't learned to enjoy reading SEC filings yet, you will.

By the way, SNAP Interactive's money comes from ad revenue. The real money is in virtual goods.