I had been playing with a fun stock market simulator/investing application on Facebook until yesterday. It was called kaching (now defunct). The authors decided to focus their efforts on their for-pay service, kaching.com, and drop the free app on facebook.
That’s all well and good – folks making money does not bother me.
What does bother me is when the maintainers of the application say they are expressly not inviting the 60,000+ users to their new service. A reply I received to a post I made when I found out the app was being removed from one of their admins was incredibly unprofessional and rude. He said they weren’t inviting the facebook users because they were not likely to want to use it, and wouldn’t pay for it.
My request was for the app to be kept up, just have maintenance on it cease and no new features be added. Keeping the app alive would have cost them next to nothing. Removing it has alienated 60,000+ people who [almost] all complained, and have made comments like I am right now warning people away from their “premium” services.
I’m all for folks making money: that is, after all, how bills get paid. I’m all for having a closed platform – if that’s what you want to do (though open platforms seem to last longer and work better overall… but that’s an entire series of posts in its own right). But using 60,000 folks on facebook to effectively beta test your premium services, and then drop them just because you want to refocus, does not bode well for professionalism or future success. No, none of us paid to use the app. But an awful lot of us had a lot of fun playing with it.
Shame they’ve decided to upset 60,000 people in such a way. Even more of a shame is that they used 60,000 people as guinea pigs without telling us.
Active, free alternatives on facebook: