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One of the most explosive successes over the past year has been Apple’s iPhone. Now, with tens of thousands of developers building applications to run on the iPhone, these developers are looking for the next step: a nice way to make money from all the users they’re getting through the iPhone.
Turns out, Facebook might be a good place to start. If say, a popular game application gets a user to sign in using their Facebook account (by using something called Facebook Connect), the application owner can now tap into Facebook to find out all kinds of social data about that user, such as age and gender. This information, in turn, can be served to advertisers and marketers so that they know which applications they should be targeting.
Enter Pinch Media, a company that helps with that process. As soon as Facebook announced over the weekend that it had made it easy for iPhone applications to use Facebook Connect, Pinch swung into action. It has just released an analytics product that tracks users of Facebook Connect on iPhone applications, and provides the developers with age and gender information about their users for the first time.
This is all very early days, and it’s too early to tell whether Facebook Connect will take off in a major way, but it does possibly point to a big coming trend — especially if developers figure out its way too hard to develop a relationship of their own with users (given a user’s fatigue in creating yet another relationship) and instead opt to accessing their user info via Facebook.
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