BandTracker Gets the “Social Utility” of the Facebook Platform: BandTracker v Trips Review

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The introduction of Facebook Platform opens a new and broad channel for marketers to establish themselves in one of the largest and most active social networking communities. Among others, SideStep and Oodle were among the first to provide applications for Facebook members.

Facebook is a Social Utility, Why isn’t Your Facebook Application?

One of the many important things to remember about Facebook is that it is a social network site (or ‘social utility’ as Facebook calls it). Any application should readily use this unique characteristic, rather than use the Facebook Platform as yet another widget.

Reviewing Sidestep’s Trips and Oodle’s BandTracker

Sidestep’s Facebook application called Trips let’s you list the future trips you’d like to make, the type of traveler your are (“back packer” or “master planner”) and you can place this list on your Facebook profile.

Oodle’s BandTracker, which is used to help promote Oodle for event ticket buyers, allows you to list the music bands you like and informs you of where they’re playing next and when, but it does it by smartly incorporating the many social features of Facebook (see below); BandTracker, all in all, actually has the basic 6 feature any Facebook Platform application should have.

Here is a snapshot of Sidestep’s Trips (too generic, how about TripShare instead?) on my Facebook account, which looks pretty dull and empty:

Sidestep's Trips on Facebook

Compare this with the many interesting feature on Oodle’s Bandtracker (again, using my Facebook Profile). Click on the images for an enlargement:

Facebook Oodle Bandtracker Facebook Oodle Bandtracker

What are the 6 Basic Features that Oodle’s BandTracker Has:

  1. BandTracker: Recently Tracked
    Or Basically: What was just added?
  2. BandTracker: Who likes what you like?
    Or Basically: Who has similar interests to you based on your selections?
  3. BandTracker: Most Tracked
    Or Basically: What are the most popular entries?
  4. BandTracker: Who I’m Tracking
    Or Basically: What you inputted as your interests
  5. BandTracker: Who’s Upcoming
    Or Basically: News about your interests: events, special deals, etc
  6. BandTracker: Who My Friends are Tracking
    Or Basically: What are my friend’s interests

SideStep’s Trips could of easily added many of these features, listing special deals if you plan on making trip to Croatia, what are the top destinations for the summer, what destination was recently added etc.

Closing: Of course, This doesn’t Apply to Everyone

For applications like Horoscopes or box’s Files, these rules don’t apply. But if you’re trying to do a poll like Washington Post’s Compass or anything where lists of things are compared, then Oodle’s BandTracker is the one to look at.

Disclaimers

I don’t know anyone at SideStep, but I might be infamous over at Oodle. Not only do I know a lot of the fine folks at Oodle, I once sent over a Dancing Panda to the Oddle office. Don’t believe me? Do a YouTube search for “oodle panda” sometime.