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Interest, Suspicion Surround Facebook App’s Sale

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Some strange stuff occurs on eBay, and in the latest example of this, a Facebook application called “I am Hungry” was auctioned off for over $20,000.  Was this a sign that the app market is red hot or were there shill bids placed in the auction? (As speculated in an article at Valleywag.)

Interest, Suspicion Surround Facebook App's Sale
Interest, Suspicion Surround Facebook App’s Sale

I am Hungry may not be the most useful app imaginable; it simply lets friends notify each other when they feel like going out for food.  A few phone calls would accomplish the same thing (with the added benefit of not making everyone exist through Facebook).  On the other hand, I am Hungry has drawn in an impressive number of users (552 of them are classified as “daily active” at present).

So, about that eBay auction . . .  Valleywag’s Tim Faulkner reports, “The bid crept up from $1,000 to $2,000 over the course of the week.  Bidding then jumped to $3,000, then $15,000, then $20,000 in the last ten hours.  Apparently stupid apps attract stupid users which attract stupid buyers.  Or, more likely, someone had an interest in seeing the application sell for much more than bidders cared to pay — like every cliché auction scene you’ve ever seen.”

Faulkner then continues, “We’re not suggesting, of course, that shilling might have taken place.  Oh, no.  But the developers behind I Am Hungry just happen to have built three other Facebook applications, each with more than 2 million users.  If I Am Hungry is worth $20,000, imagine how much these ones must now be worth, based on the newly set market price.”

It’ll be interesting to see what happens from here – how the market for apps, assuming there is such a thing, responds to these events.  In any event, Dan Peguine, one of I am Hungry’s creators, did not respond to a request for comment.

Edit: In the comments below, Dan says he did not receive the email asking for his comment.

Interest, Suspicion Surround Facebook App’s Sale
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  • http://faceosphere.com Mark Mayhew

    In the ValleyWag comments, I go further and say flat out that the auctions for both the “I am Hungry” and the “Logbook” apps look phony. Heck, there’s even a Facebook group for doubters of these auctions:
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6349042454

  • Dan Peguine

    1. You never contacted me.

    2. You misspelled my name.

    • Doug Caverly

      Apologies for the typo.  It’s fixed, now.  However, I did (try to) send an email to the address listed on this site.

      • Dan Peguine

        That’s the correct e-mail address. Oddly, I didn’t get any e-mail from you. Maybe you misspelled that too? Anyway, I am reachable on many places (namely Facebook).

        Anyway, with regards to your concerns: please understand how a reserve auction works. A person can re-bid again and again to get to the reserve price. This is why the history looks odd.

        Time will prove your speculations wrong. The buyer will restart development on this app again and things will all fall in place.

        With regards to you not understanding why this app is cool: a lot of people on campuses like to eat with friends; but they have many friends. Calling 200 people to find out who is up at 4am and has the munchies is a pain and so since Facebook is pretty much in constant use, it’s a great way to find food mates.

  • http://faceosphere.com Mark Mayhew

    Dan,
    I too am mystified by the bidding hisory. You say the person was bidding to find out the ‘reserve’ price, but on the auction, it clearly says “no reserve”. Almost ten bids in a row, going from $2,000 to $15,000, against noone but yourself? c’mon!

    • http://adonomics.com Jesse

      Mark,

      The auction definitely had a reserve price. The auction was restructured shortly after it was opened which might have exposed a bug on eBay’s end.

      But I’m not going to speak for Dan.

      • http://faceosphere.com Mark Mayhew

        whichever, nothing changes that the “I am Hungry” Facebook app is a worthless steamin’ pile of doggie doo…..
        noone that is sane would pay $50, let alone $20,000 for it!
        (and here come the Facebook FanBoys: “I am Hungry” for $20K? What a bargain, it’s worth $20M!)

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