The majority of this revenue has gone out to Facebook app developers, but the platform also supports applications running on OpenSocial. The money has been paid out to approximately 1000 developers that have used SocialMedia’s ad platform across 5000 applications (the money has not been evenly distributed, so it isn’t worthwhile to look at the average).
These figures may be encouraging to critics of Facebook’s development platform, who worry that applications can’t be easily monetized. During a talk at the Web 2.0 conference last April, members of an expert panel were predicting total revenues on the Facebook platform of as little as $10M this year – an amount that certainly wouldn’t be encouraging to the venture capital firms that have been pouring millions into some of these apps.
Around 20% of Facebook’s 29,000 applications have used SocialMedia to distribute ads (and contributed to the $8M total). While this is impressive, it only represents a fraction of the total revenue that’s being generated – clearly, there’s far more than $10 million to be had on these still-fledgling development platforms.