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Facebook Developer Garage New Delhi

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Facebook Developer Garage New Delhi held on 29th of November, 2008 at Gurgaon was the first Facebook Developer conference in India organized by Tekriti. The other sponsors for the event were travelboutiqueonline.com and  sourceit.com. The event which was organized at the office premises of Tekriti started at around 11 A.M. was a great learning experience for many Facebook Developers and other Social Network application developers and website developers and designers in general.

 

The first spokesperson for the event was Kelly Winters from Facebook who gave a brief overview of Facebook, the Platform and Facebook Connect. It was amazing to know how Facebook expanded its user base from 90M to 120M within a span of just four months and how the user demographics has changed from 50% US and 50% international to 38% US and 62% international netizens, thus emphasizing Facebook's motive of globalization.

She also mentioned how Facebook is encouraging developers to come up with their new innovative applications by funding the best applications through a unique system known as Fbfund. Infact one of the participants of the talk is among the final 20 contestants for this fund. She also spoke about Facebook Connect which is another very useful API by Facebook which allows third party sites to pull social data from Facebook and use the data in their websites. So users can share a piece of information with their Facebook friens right from the third party websites. Thus the third party doesn't need to bother about user registration and user logins and this greatly enhances the user experience and conversion rate.

 

The next speaker was from IBT Games Inc. which is a startup in US having development center in Bangladesh. They demonstrated their two popular Facebook Applications viz. 'Twenty20' and 'Street Soccer'. These company is among the 20 finalists in Fbfund. Both these applications have a very rich user interface and smart logic which is the backbone for their popularity. They also spoke about the various methods that can be employed to monetize a Facebook application.

 

Next to present was Mr. Vikas Jawa from Zoomtra which has a very popular application on Facebook as well as Orkut named 'India Dekha'. It is claimed to be the first full fledged Facebook Application from India. He demonstrated how using the application users can post mini blogs about tourist places as well as travel agencies and travel experience from one single landing page. The application is an excellent example of how to keep the user engrossed in the application by providing him all features in one single page. The application which uses Google Maps has a very rich ajax interface adding to the user experience.

 

The next speaker was Sunil Kumar from Wirkle Technologies who demonstrated their mobile based application 'ClickAndShare' which allows end users to upload pictures taken from their mobile cams directly to Facebook without going through the the rigorous process of first downloading it to their PC and then uploading them separately. This application also has the feature which uploads the images to Facebook in background whenever the user takes a new snapshot. The application which is developed in J2ME platform is compatible with most smart phones currently available in market. The speaker also stressed the need for Facebook to provide mobile applications the API for fast user authentication.

The next speaker was Kapil from Slideshare who gave demonstration of their application for Facebook which is a complete clone of the standalone website SlideShare. This is a very popular web application wherein users can share their presentations with others.

 

This was followed by lunch session. The food quality was really good. I must thank Tekriti for organising such a great meet and also for the delicious food.

 

Post lunch session, the first to speak was Nitesh Nandy from Mobicules . He spoke on the benefits of allowing users to access applications without authentication. The idea is to give the user a preview of the application before he/she decides whether to add or not. This has other benefits like seacrh engine optimization which is important for any successful Facebook application. In order to achieve this the developer has to delay the call to require_login().

 

This was followed by Vidit Paliwal from BigStep Technologies who presented their application called 'The Politikal Daredevils'. It's a first of its kind wherein a facebook user can nominate his/her friend to become a candidate for election on the Facebook application. This application has all the features that one would find in real life election like bribing candidates, campaigning etc. The application also allows the user to poke his/her politician with another. This seems like a great concept and hopefully will succeed in generating a huge user base in coming months considering the coming general elections in India.

 

The final and certainly the most vibrant speaker of the event was Piyush Wadher from Equals Inc. He presented their two innovative applications 'PartyLine' & 'Shoutout'. Both these applications are based on the concept of providing the user one single point of communication with his/her friends, relatives or business partners. This is also the concept on which the parent website Equals is based. PartyLine is a Facebook application that enables users to initiate an instantaneous group phone chat, adding voice to social networking. PartyLine allows up to five people to talk for free, simultaneously with no complex set-up, dial-ins or passcodes. Instead of having to call multiple people at different numbers, one can now call one number or with one click of the mouse, be connected live with their group without having to download any software.

Similarly the 'Shoutout' application allows the user to set his status message on Facebook from mobile . Both these applications look very promising and is certain to catch the attention of fun loving Facebook users throughout the world very soon.

 

Overall the event was a great experience. It gave an opportunity for developers like me to interact with fellow developers, exchange ideas and also gave the speakers a nice platform to showcase their applications. Finally it is also worth mentioning that the speakers were gifted momentos by Mr. Ashish of Tekriti. Looking forward for more sessions from Facebook.

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