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May 2, 2008

NEWS: Watercooler: Yet another social network app company that’s making money

Watercooler: Yet another social network app company that’s making money

Nobody really knows how much social networks applications are worth, which leads some people to think that they’re not worth much of anything. But try telling that to the companies that are building businesses through applications, and they’ll laugh at you as they continue on their way to the bank. This new social network application market, that only started around 11 months ago with the launch of Facebook’s developer platform, has produced a wave of companies whose impact is being felt across traditional media.

Latest example: Watercooler, a Mountain View, Calif.-based company that offers more than 700 applications based on the idea that lots of people want to talk about their favorite sports teams and events or television shows within social networks. It creates an individual application for a team or show. The application includes a forum, a feature for leaving photos, a user ranking system, quizzes, community moderators, and other features designed to encourage lots of interaction.

So far, the company has 20 million total users, with more than 18 million of them on Facebook. Its method of growth is based on real-world connections between, say, sports fans. Your friend on Facebook is a fan of Manchester United, and so are you (or not) — they add the Watercooler ManU application and invite you to talk with them (see above and below)...

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