Facebook developers swindle each other on eBay

Since we first covered an eBay auction for a Facebook application on September 27 when Michael Zhang auctioned off LogBook for $2,550, the going price for useless applications has boomed nearly 280 percent, to judge by a similar sale yesterday. Then again, the I Am Hungry application sold for an even bubblier $20,100 in October. No wonder Facebook apologists more juiced?

Yesterday, Simon Freed, James Ashton and Sam Hamilton sold their holiday-themed Advent calendar application for a jolly $7,099. Over on AllFacebook, Nick O'Neill headlines the news "Facebook Application Sale Disappoints." The auction winner only paid 33 cents per active user, a figure O'Neill deems too cheap.

How so? Freed, Ashton and Hamilton created an app whose usefulness has a seasonal time limit. At best, they might find some other Facebook developer who wants to promote another application, a pyramid-scheme form of advertising that's proving to be disturbingly popular in the social network's microeconomy. And advertising on Facebook apps has so far been a dicey proposition. More than $7,000 for a Facebook app? Freed, Ashton, and Hamilton should call it an early Christmas gift.