Archive for August, 2007

When will we start paying for Facebook friends?

We are just beginning to see how social applications will impact the next generation of information workers.

I expect we’ll see the following within the next year:

  • Paying for “friends”
  • Facebook reputation replacing Ebay reputation
  • My Yelp

Two weeks ago I attended a Facebook mini-conference put together by Seth Goldstein’s SocialMedia. Not a single person mentioned opportunities for using Facebook outside a personal context, despite the fact that the room was filled with 50 of the internet’s best minds: partners from Sequoia, Greylock, Charles River Ventures, founders of RockYou, HotOrNot, etc.

Mainstream press and big institutions only mention the negative implications of Facebook in the corporate environment; they claim it is a distraction and a drain on employee productivity.

So far developers have become successful building Facebook apps that let you virtually bite a friend or send someone a virtual beer. I think this will change. These silly apps are creating 30 seconds of entertainment value, where future apps will have implications for billion dollar markets like investing, recruiting, information sharing, and sales lead generation.

Paying for “friends”

A new YC company,, should be leveraging the Facebook platform. They probably will. Social Picks allows you to find stock recommendations and follow successful investors. I can imagine an investor “friending” people for a subscription fee. After becoming the investor’s friend you have access to his stock picks. If you see that four of your friends are following Ken Fisher’s stock advice, you might be more willing to purchase his services. This stuff works on the real internet, why wouldn’t it work just as well or better on the Facebook enabled social internet. Cramer, you should be doing this! You could make Mad Money!

Facebook reputation replacing Ebay reputation

Give it time, but a Facebook powered Ebay competitor has the potential to steal that deeply entrenched market. Reputation is everything when you are selling online, and Facebook will own reputation, because all of your friends are watching.

My Yelp

You could make a seriously successful personalized service recommendation engine within Facebook. It would be like Yelp, powered by people you know. People trust the opinions of their friends. If you are making a decision about a doctor, or a restaurant for a fancy date, Facebook can connect you to the opinions of your friends.

Our company’s accountant gave me four business cards after our meeting the other day. He thanked me for referring him to a new client and asked me to give his cards to others. I’m Facebook friends with the founders of no less than 40 companies. I get asked for recommendations to lawyers, accountants, real estate brokers, and insurance brokers almost every week. Just think if this information was all in Facebook; I wouldn’t have four business cards cluttering my desk.

Xobni Beta: Priority Access

Xobni Priority

If you have signed up for the Xobni beta recently , you know about the Xobni badge program. If not, check it out.

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your email address
  3. Copy the unique html code and add it to your blog sidebar, MySpace, or website.
  4. This image will appear on your site.

Users who put the Xobni badge on their site will be the first to receive the Xobni beta.

It is that simple. We appreciate the support of the community that has been following the Xobni story and we want you to be our earliest beta users in return.

More than a pretty button

When a visitor clicks on a Xobni badge, a referral number is passed to our servers. We track these referrals to determine which blogs have readers that are interested in our software. In the future we will be able to use this information to help target our advertising and marketing efforts. Your blog readers will improve their email happiness. You’ll be able to say you saw it first. Pretty sweet.

Office Party

Last night we invited friends of Xobni to our office for food, drinks, fun, and music.  Music was provided by Thanks to everyone who made it out.

Follow the link below for some pictures from the party. Thanks Gabor!

Email Me Instead – for Facebook

UPDATE: This app has been removed. If you’d like Facebook integration with Xobni, please check out  🙂

Info below is preserved for archival purposes only.

Xobni’s Facebook app replaces Facebook messaging with email.

I’ve found Facebook messaging increasingly annoying. My inbox is full of Facebook notifications, not the content I want. I can’t count the number of times I’ve received a message, gone to someone’s profile, found their email address, typed their email address into my compose window (you can’t copy+paste because Facebook displays an image), and finally composed an email to the person which starts with ,”switching to email…”

So, we made a Facebook app that makes emailing your Facebook friends easy:

Apparently, I wasn’t alone. Many others have wanted a way to easily email their Facebook friends and tell their friends to “email me instead.” So we put a few cycles into making it easy to do just that.

Try out the application by clicking here

Add the app, tell your friends, and make online life a little easier.

Here is how Email Me Instead works:

1. Setup

Enter your email address and pick a button style.


2. Profile Button

A button is added to your profile. Now your friends can click to email you. Don’t forget to drag the Email Me Instead application to the top of your profile so your friends see it!


3. Profile Link

A link is also added below your profile pictures. How easy! (Josh prefers email instead, so we used his profile picture)

4. Quick Reply Attachment

What if someone sends you a Facebook message anyway? We’ve added an Email Me Instead button which allows you to politely and quickly tell them that you would like to use email instead.


After you click the Email Me Instead attach button, the following message is added to your message and is easy to send.attach
5. Bonus

We’ve put a little note that says, “Sent from Facebook” in the bottom of emails sent using the Email Me Instead application. This way you know someone sent you the message from Facebook. Totally Sweet!

That’s it. The application is quick, simple, and easy to use. Make sure to tell your friends about Email Me Instead because the application becomes more useful as the community grows.

To tell your friends, email them this link:

Note: This not the product Xobni has been working on for the past 14 months. This was a weekend hackathon project. Our real product, Project North Beach, will change the way you look at your email. Sign up for the beta below.

Free Download

About Xobni

Xobni’s contact management products offer lightning fast email search and organization of your inbox, as well as an innovative and comprehensive address book for the mobile device.


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