Around this time last year Josh Kopelman came up with the idea of the Techcrunch chasm. The root idea is/was that too many companies were targeting the then-53,651 readers of Mike A’s popular Techcrunch blog. A good review in Techcrunch, as Josh pointed out, gets you 5-25k beta users, and then you’re stuck.
I’m wondering if something similar isn’t happening in Facebook. I keep hearing about companies that are exercising “Option F” and launching a Facebook version of their app, only to suddenly have 500,000 users. But for how long? I’m betting, pace the Techcrunch chasm, that those people are an ephemeral crew, and that they try pretty much anything, and then drop it again.
I see that behavior quite clearly in my Facebook news feed. People all add one app; people all drop that app. Repeat, repeat, repeat. This is not a mainstream audience, nor does it seem to have much permanence. It’s just tire-kickers and try-ers.
Don’t get me wrong. Facebook is an awesome platform. But don’t get overly excited about getting even a a hundred thousand people to briefly try out a Facebook applet. With 27-million users you can get a decent-sized number of people to try pretty much anything. Whether any of that Facebook 500,000 will stick is another question.