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Applifier: Facebook reliance is "our single failure"

Thu 19 May 2011 8:00am GMT / 4:00am EDT / 1:00am PDT
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But research and development head says service is looking at new platforms, getting back to indie support

Applifier

Applifier helps social game and app publishers of all size to grow their social applications through...

applifier.com

Applifier's head of Product, Tuomas Rinta, has acknowledged that the company is exposing itself somewhat with an over-reliance on Facebook, but says that the company is already looking at new platforms and a new project which will involve working closely with independents once more.

Rinta made the admission during a longer interview on Applifier's incredible growth and surprisingly democratic business model, conducted at last week's Nordic Game Festival in Malmo.

Appifier's service, which evolved banner exchange advertising into a click-for-click traffic sharing model, has attracted 55 million users, 500 developers and around 700-800 games in just over twelve months on Facebook, and sends about 350,000 clicks through its half a billion ads each and every day.

Of course we want to expand. We know that the business is in a transition state. The numbers are, in some cases, dwindling

Tuomas Rinta, Applifier

However, as Tapjoy's experience with the changing terms and conditions at Apple prove, putting your entire business model in the hands of an external agency can be risky. It's a potential problem which hasn't passed Rinta or Applifier by.

"It's a risk we know. When we look at the big picture we realise that relying so much on Facebook is kind of our single failure," said Rinta. "But also we realise that at this point we've grown pretty large so I think we've alleviated the biggest risk of them making a sudden change and killing us off.

"Of course we also want to expand. We know that the business is in a transition state. The numbers are, in some cases, dwindling. Monetisation is changing, new factors are coming in, like social growing to mobile, stuff like that. We're expanding and trying not to rely so much on Facebook."

What shape that evolution may take is something which Applifier is keeping close to its chest, but Rinta did hint that the company's next project will take it closer to its origins as a 'rebel alliance', hoping to level the playing field for the smaller companies in the social space.

"On our recruitment website it still says we're the rebel alliance," laughed Rinta. "I personally want to believe that. When people ask me what our company motto should be I always say it should be 'helping games grow'. It's what we want to do.

"If you look at us from the developer's perspective you see the Facebook network. It doesn't discriminate on size, it's open to big and small developers. It's just been a natural transition that the bigger players have come to us now, but it's also beneficial for smaller games.

"The big games tend to have a bigger budget so they drive traffic from other sources that appeal to 'good' users. Those then trickle down to the smaller companies too, that's the network benefit again.

"What we're building behind the scenes, and yes we're building something new again, it kind of puts us back to our roots of working with the indie developer again."

"Within the next six months or year, we'll be doing some new stuff."

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