Nimbit’s MyStore Lets Bands Tap the Power of Facebook to Promote Music and Merchandise

9/16/09Follow @wroush

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get out of the way, so that the artist can engage with the fan, and provide them with product offers. The minute they do that, the artist knows a whole lot more about the fan than if they had sent them to iTunes. All of the consumer data back to the artist, the complete contact information. They get to see what that person bought, and over time they can see that person’s total purchase history and what other products they are engaged with, even down to whether they attended a certain show. We are really giving the artists a tool set to understand their fans and to be able to create compelling offers for these fans so the fans can buy directly.

X: I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook, but as far as I know, there aren’t a lot of other examples of e-commerce apps, where you can actually buy things from inside Facebook. Is Nimbit MyStore the first?

PF: We’re definitely the first company to build a serious storefront within Facebook that operates entirely in their environment. We built it natively, using their API and markup language, but it’s driven from our catalog and our commercial backend. We’ve married the best of social networking with the best of fan commerce. And we wrote it entirely in the Facebook application development platform, and abided by all their rules and got all the approvals all the way up, so the fans could have a really great experience.

X: What kind of response are you seeing so far?

Nimbit MyStore interface for singer Chase CoyPF: We don’t have a whole lot of sales history yet, but we’re seeing some very interesting results. Fans are instantly buying and loving the fact that they can get what they want there. And the interesting part is that because of the way Facebook is designed, every fan interaction gets reported back to that fan’s network. A whole variety of things become possible that really take advantage of Facebook’s social fabric. My partner Phil [Antoniades, Nimbit's co-founder] makes a very interesting comment: You want to know why we think Facebook is ripe for emerging commerce between artists and fans? Because you don’t see anybody spending three and a half hours a day staring at their iTunes window. But they’re spending an average of that on Facebook, doing all kinds of things with their friends.

X: What was it like working with Facebook and building this application? It wasn’t so long ago that a lot of third-party developers were complaining that the documentation for Facebook’s programming interfaces was poor, and that Facebook would often change the interfaces without telling people, which would break everyone’s apps.

PF: We became somewhat familiar with their app development platform a couple of years back, and I’ll be quite honest with you, we made the decision not to develop back then because what we saw was rather undeveloped and unstable. But it’s definitely evolved, and this time around we were fortunate enough to have some expert developers who really knew what they were doing and spent the time to understand the Facebook platform. I think we had a bit of an advantage because … Next Page »

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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