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August 02, 2007

Facebook App: Books

I love the concept of Facebook applications based on my limited experience with Truemors for Friends. One bummer is that people can only invite ten friends per day to try a new application—which is problem if you’re just getting on the bandwagon. To help my fellow Facebook developers, I’ve decided to help them promote their application (there is one catch: they help me promote mine too). This posting is about an application called Books.


Books enables Facebook users to manage the books that they’ve read and to learn more about books that may interest them. The product’s key features include:

  1. Share books with friends or the entire Facebook network.

  2. Post comments and assign star ratings.

  3. Discover new books to read based on real-world feedback.

Books is a great way to find new books and to share your knowledge and opinions with the Facebook community. There are currently approximately 50,000 users. It is available for installation here.

Finally, if you’re a Facebook developer, here are two great posts that you should not miss:


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Users interested in books on facebook should join the discussion in the book apps group on Facebook. We discuss the relative merits of the many book related facebook apps. Join us!


Guy, as a Mac user, I'm surprised you haven't taken these guys to task for the way their GUI renders on Safari. Improperly overlapping style sheets, oh my!!!!

I also use the Shelfari Facebook App and the UI is very user friendly. I'm surprised that not many people have heard about it? Anyway, I use it. http://apps.facebook.com/shelfari

Hey there,
I am the creator of iRead on facebook. We are the biggest book sharing application on facebook today with more than 220000 users and more than 5 million books added by users.

We definitely have a lot more features than any other book application on facebook and are also able to scale without any issues.

I request you to kindly check out iRead and send me feedback

I made this tutorial for making a Facebook application using PHP: Facebook PHP Tutorial.

I don't like maintaining my book catalog using Facebook, coz I find the space is too crammed. I use BookJetty.com, which I hope they'll have a plug for Facebook soon.

I just tried to load the app. and my virus scan said the app was trying to load a trojan. Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks for the lead Guy, if this works I'll mention it in my book which is in its final edit.

Hey Guy. Thanks for the mention of the Facereviews.com site.

We actually posted our first in a series about facebook marketing apps. We also have a 5 minute video discussing "The 5 Common Points of Great Facebook Apps: BEVUS"


Rodney Rumford

Do tell- do people actually read these books? Or is this just about conspicuous socialisation, like the absurd conceit of calling anonymous strangers on your social network you 'friends'?

i love the books app. i just wish it supported bulk add. i used another service and once stored all my ISBN/ASIN numbers. now i want to paste them all into this facebook app and get my just rewards.

I started hearing about this "Guy" from Silicon Valley several years ago from my husband. Then, I began devouring your books.

I launched Passionate for Life Magazine on June 15th. We will soon add an
Entrepreneur Department.

Thanks for all you do to educate and motivate all of us budding entrepreneurs!


Dana Hall
Passionate for Life Magazine

Guy, I think you'll really like this one: http://apps.facebook.com/my-resume/ It's like LinkedIn on Facebook.

In fact, it imports your LinkedIn resume and recommendations to your Facebook resume.

The app only let me add 3 books. No bueno, bug. If it doesn't fix in less than a day the app gets tossed out.

Hey Guy,
Your articles have been really helpful to my team and me. We're developing a social recommendation site TryThis.com. Check out our facebook app.. Try This, it lets you add books, dvds, albums, toys etc to your profile, lets you asks for recommendations and we just added a feature that lets you post items on people's walls. kinda how iLike does it with songs. Going to check out your link to marketing the facebook app. Thanks. (let us know what you think)

What has this book app got that Amazon hasn't already got? The ability to post book/other product reviews and ratings is what has made Amazon the sticky-site juggernaut online retailer it is today. The facebook app seems like a solution in search of a problem.

Guy: I installed the Shelfari app because I am a Shelfari user. There is some gripe about the limitations of the other book apps on Facebook, but I like Shelfari because the community already exists and the dialogue can just carry on. Most people are truly crazy about reading and the quality of the reviews etc is far superior and the range of books much vaster than most other apps (My shelfari handle is of course not my name - creakingbookshelves!)

Oooooooh. D'oh! Please ignore me. I should learn to read better.

Guy, nice idea but I've had an app that does exactly this (I think) on my FB account for some time. What's the diff?

Now from a business stand point, it would totally rock if I get paid as an affiliate from Amazon if my friends purchased books I like.

Just a thought :D

Interesting apps coming up nowadays.. have a look at -

1) http://8apps.com/ (Social networking for productive people)

2) http://portableapps.com/ (Pick a PC, 'ANY' PC)

Hey Guy,
THX, great post. On the other hand it shows that new media and very, very old media (like books) don't rival, but complement. And thats good to know for all this blogger-vs-journalism-discussion.


Long time reader. I have a cool new company called Shelfari, that is also building book applications. Check out our Facebook application (http://www.facebook.com/shelfari/) and the website: http://www.shelfari.com/. I'd love to hear your suggestions and feedback!



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