Where are the good Facebook apps?
February 15, 2008 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Are there any good Facebook apps?

There are about a billion apps on Facebook, but almost all of them seem to boil down to:

- Some variation of poke ("send X to your friends!")
- Some variation of Am I Hot or Not?
- Some variation of Werewolves/Vampires/Zombies
- "What kind of X are you?" quizzes

Other than Scrabulous and a few other games (poker), who's out there making good,useful apps with their API?
posted by mkultra to Technology (27 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
My friend Amos built the Subway Status app, which is pretty neat and useful. My three other favorites are Graffiti, Cities I've Visited, and the Last.fm Music app, which displays the tunes that you've recently played and allows you or a visitor to your Facebook profile to stream music that you listen to a lot.
posted by lia at 1:36 PM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Second the Cities I've Visted app.
posted by 913 at 1:41 PM on February 15, 2008

The only ones I have are flickr photos, last.fm, & twitter (which I set to automatically update my facebook status). Everything else seems like noise to me and I just reject any invitations I get.
posted by special-k at 1:41 PM on February 15, 2008

The only ones I like grab data from other services I already use - GoodReads and del.icio.us.
posted by puddleglum at 1:41 PM on February 15, 2008

Posted items + firefox bookmarklet --easy way to post things to facebook for others to see.
files--upload word/pdf/etc--use this one a lot to share documents
notes--mini blog like
posted by uncballzer at 1:42 PM on February 15, 2008

I am addicted to Prolific, which is like Boggle. It's the only reason I log on.
posted by kimdog at 1:42 PM on February 15, 2008

My favorite non-Scrabulous app is Chinese Astrology ("useful" is kind of a relative term here). The daily horoscopes are amusingly detailed, e.g. "you won't have to worry or take an appointment with your sexologist," "eat salmon today."

I also like Extended Info which is simple and clever.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:42 PM on February 15, 2008

2nding data grabs (library thing) also the neighborhoods ap is cool in large cities... Though I've never messaged anyone through it.
posted by Jahaza at 1:43 PM on February 15, 2008

Check out Top Ten Facebook Apps for Librarians (three parts). You might find something useful there.
posted by cog_nate at 1:53 PM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

I like the Netflix app, which posts which movies I have at home. This way I can share with my Blockbuster friends what I'm watching.
posted by kidsleepy at 1:53 PM on February 15, 2008

I kind of enjoy RateBeer, although a lot of it is just frat boys giving 10 stars to Newcastle Brown.
posted by saladin at 1:59 PM on February 15, 2008

Fits in your "other games" category, but Battle Hangman is a lot of fun.
posted by GaelFC at 2:02 PM on February 15, 2008

Pandora also has one that shows when you start listening to a station, bookmarked songs, and bookmarked artists.

will display your shared items from Google Reader or NewsGator.

Blockbuster Online also has an app, but I forget what it's called...
posted by natabat at 2:06 PM on February 15, 2008

If you are an avid reader, I recommend Visual Bookshelf. You can post the books you are currently reading, and rate those you have already read. There a bunch of other neat little features you can play around with.
posted by upplepop at 2:25 PM on February 15, 2008

Boombox, which creates a list of songs (that you host) with a little Flash-powered player for each one. Simple, but convenient.
posted by qvtqht at 2:34 PM on February 15, 2008

The iLike app is pretty good. Integrates your music library with upcoming shows.
posted by herbaliser at 2:50 PM on February 15, 2008

I don't have any of the sort you just described. Here's my list:

BMI Calculator: Basic little flash app I used with my fitness program
Birthday Calendar: A bunch of my friends asked me to add this. I actually use "sBirthday" on my Nokia mobile phone normally.
Board Games: Link to your BoardGameGeek profile.
Books iRead: One of three apps I use to advertise what I'm reading.
Catbook: Photos and profiles of my cats.
Causes: Promote your favourite causes. I'm currently promoting: Fair Trade, SETI The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Child's Play Charity, Stop Light Pollution, An Inconvenient Truth, E-Waste Awareness & Save The Whales, Again.
Dagens striper: I can't get the "Nemi" comic on my profile in English, so this is the next best thing.
del.icio.us: Link to your del.icio.us account. Automatically posts new entries to your mini-feed.
Digg.com: Link to your Digg account. Shows five recent Diggs.
Dolumar: Multiplayer game.
Greenbook: Claims to do something with carbon offsets.
I Play WoW: Link to World of Warcraft characters
I'm Reading: One of three apps I use to advertise what I'm reading.
iLike: Show off your music tastes. Can link to Garage Band (where I have half a dozen tracks).
JOIKA: Job Openings I Know About: Post job ads you know about for your friends
LiveJournal Connect: Link to your LJ account. Automatically posts new posts to your mini-feed.
Movies: Review movies, compare tastes.
My Profiles: Link to all the various accounts you have on other social networking-y type sites.
My Restaurants: List your favourite restaurants. (They're *very* receptive to new listings.)
Neighborhoods: Gives your neighbourhood a forum. A bit spammy.
Nintendo Wii: Owned/played/wishlist. Share your friend codes.
Notes: This is a basic app, but did you know it can be set to automatically import one RSS feed?
PetrolHead: Stupid car game. I "own" a Prius.
popurls: Show the ten most popular links from the Popurls aggrigator.
Profile Comics: Display a bunch of webcomics in your profile. (I wish they were more receptive to new titles.)
Second Life Link: Link to your Second Life account. I believe it allows messaging between Facebook and SL.
The Big Switch: Another carbon offset thing.
The OFFICIAL Dilbert Widget 400x300: Guess.
Twitter: Link to your Twitter account. Displays latest post.
Visual Bookshelf: One of three apps I use to advertise what I'm reading.
WoW Characters: Link to World of Warcraft characters
Youtube Faves: Shows the favourite YouTube videos of a user. Doesn't update properly, but you can poke it.
posted by krisjohn at 2:58 PM on February 15, 2008 [3 favorites]

FriendWheel: Generates a cool visualization of how your friends are connected. Not sure how you define useful but it's certainly interesting to see who are highly connected on FB and who are not.
posted by junesix at 3:11 PM on February 15, 2008

I know many people who are rapidly becoming addicted to Scramble.
posted by davetill at 4:10 PM on February 15, 2008

Not that it's NaNo time anymore, but I have the NaNoWriMo App added. I second causes and Cities.

I also have bumper stickers just because some of them are funny.

By and large, I find facebook apps really stupid and pointless. You should also watch out for data miners who take information off of your profile that have started to come in as "apps".
posted by Gular at 4:55 PM on February 15, 2008

I like More Friends because it helps me find friends (particularly from mutual groups like dorms or clubs) that I haven't added yet.
posted by divabat at 5:03 PM on February 15, 2008

I really like (fluff)Friends, which is just a game where you add a cute little animal friend to your profile. Then you can feed it and buy things for it and it races against your friends' (fluff)Friends and wins prizes. It's a cute distraction but doesn't require a lot of attention if you don't want it to.
posted by misskaz at 5:39 PM on February 15, 2008

PackRat is addictive. Sort of like GameNeverending (I don't know how many GNE players are still around here), but without the wit. Still a great time-waster.

I also 2nd or 3rd scramble.
posted by necessitas at 6:04 PM on February 15, 2008

My friend created this Quotes app, which I think is pretty good. It replaces your flat "quotes" profile box with your own quotes database: you can add as many quotes as you like and show random or selected ones on your profile, you can tag your friends in quotes, people can comment on them, etc. Clicking the "Quotes" icon in your sidebar gives you a list of the quotes that your friends (with this app) have added recently.
posted by dreamyshade at 7:07 PM on February 15, 2008

There are a lot of pop culture related apps, and those would depend on your personal preference. Besides Graffiti, I've got the Honesty Box added - it's a bit drama prone, but it allows people to leave completely anonymous messages in your inbox provided they also have the Honesty Box. Interesting social experiment to say the least, and it's always fun trying to guess who left which message. Little maliciousness so far, surprisingly.

The other app I've got is Block Star, which is actually a very well built Tetris app - much better than that silly N-block floating around the net. It lets you play against top scores, or just your friends' scores. But then again, I'm a Tetris junkie.

Free gifts is most excellent, but it fits under your "Send X to friend" criteria, so I suppose that's out. Beyond that, I try to keep my facebook page as uncluttered as possible. I didn't think it was possible to have your facebook page be as repugnant as a MySpace page, but I have 'friends' with over 100 apps. Thank goodness facebook lets me minimze whatever I don't see, which is an excellent and ingenious functionality.
posted by Phire at 8:55 PM on February 15, 2008

i just finished crushing my friend using the Chess.com applet. It runs very similarly to Scrabulous.. and doesnt seem to spam all my friends when I use it. Has ELO ratings and everything.
posted by TheOtherGuy at 3:42 AM on February 16, 2008

I love the Oregon Trail. Reminds me of good times in third grade, computer lab style.
posted by mynameismandab at 9:35 PM on February 17, 2008

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