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Facebook Traffic Jam

Apparently, the highway out to the beach wasn't the only big traffic jam this weekend - a number of companies who developed new applications for Facebook Platform, which was announced late last week and got quite a lot of coverage, also got slammed with users wanting to download and install the new tools. Instead, many of them greeted by error or timeout messages.

Normally, that's a bad thing - but there's always a silver lining, right? Narendra Rocherolle, co-founder of a San Francisco company, 30 Boxes, said his site experienced about 20 to 30 times the normal traffic over the long weekend. On Friday, the day after Facebook announced Facebook Platform, 30boxes had 1,000 new users. On Saturday, the company signed 3,500 new users. On Sunday, there were 6,000 more.

But that also means that 30Boxes' servers - and engineers - spent the holiday weekend working to make sure the error messages were at a minimum.

Here at Washingtonpost.com, which developed a Facebook application called The Compass, the demand came in the form of 5-10 download requests per second. "The hardware that we threw at this Facebook application just wasn't equipped to handle this sort of traffic," said Rob Curley, Vice President of Product Development for Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive.

But were the traffic jams enough to turn off users to the idea of installing these applications? Chris Dizon, a Phoenix area user who posted his frustrations on Facebook over the weekend, exchanged an e-mail with me about the slowdowns. In general, he likes the applications but noticed quote a few bugs on many of them.

"I'm hoping since this is all new that they will get all the kinks worked out in no time, but I think it is disappointing and frustrating that many of these bugs were not worked on before the new Facebook platform went live," he wrote.

By Sam Diaz  |  May 29, 2007; 3:17 PM ET  | Category:  Sam Diaz
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Comments

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I think its expected that there will be a lot of buggy applications when development is opened up to everyone. After all, where's the quality control? Hopefully the market should weed out the crap applications from the good ones. They should put in place some type of user rating system, if they haven't already, so you can be warned by your peers if an application that looks interesting actually works or not. And so you can gloat if an application you create is well received ;-) That way the entire social network becomes quality control.

Posted by: awhitegiver | May 29, 2007 4:35 PM

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