Does it pay to make a custom app for Facebook? Some of the top widgets on Facebook from companies like Slide, RockYou, and HotorNot appear to be driving significant traffic back to the home sites, reports VentureBeat. It makes sense. Widgets tend to have limited feature sets and act as teasers to go to a bigger site.
The question is whether traffic measurement sites like Quantcast incorporate widget traffic in their overall stats or just look at teh main sites. (Anyone know the answer to that, please tell us in comments). Compete shows a similar trend, but Alexa doesn't show quite as dramatic a jump (and actually shows HotorNot declining slightly). Still, if 10 million people added Slide's Top Friends widget onto their Facebook page, chances are a fraction of them will go and check out what else Slide has to offer. At the very minimum, widgets can be a powerful form of marketing. Once companies figure out how to make money inside the widgets themselves, then we might finally see the beginning of a true Facebook economy.