Notes from FacebookCamp4 in Toronto

A few hundred people attended the last FacebookCamp in Toronto last week, but what was missing was the excitement, the buzz in the audience, which was a hallmark of previous such events. Is the Facebook platform on a downswing ? The organizers and the folks from Facebook thought otherwise. Facebook platform had 30,000 applications by February of this year, compared to 5500 in Oct ’07 and continues to grow, according to the stats.

Rebecca Sawyer, who leads the monetization group at Facebook Inc, gave a presentation on advertising on Facebook. She went through on how to create an ad and target an exact audience. For example, on Facebook you can advertise based on criteria such as a user’s location, major, college, and gasp…even relationship status ! All that is there on a user’s profile can be targeted for advertising.

In a following talk, the upcoming re-design of users profile page was showcased. Most of the info from a user’s profile will be divided in separate tabs for: personal info, mini-feed, applications (called boxes), photos, among others. While it makes the user profile page more cleaner, I think it actually hurts developers as it puts their applications behind another button (in the boxes tab). It would be interesting to see if / how the users accept the new design.

The DemoCamp in Toronto tonight promises to be a bit more interesting.