It has to be pretty great to see your application become the new hot thing — with everyone wanting to sign up all at once — and to be able to piggy-back on the success of something as huge as Facebook’s new F8 platform in order to get there. And hopefully that feeling of joy and well-being will sustain the crew at iLike through the next couple of days, as they watch all their servers explode into flames from the heat of 50,000 new users all wanting to log in at the same time. According to an email posted at Venturebeat, the company doubled the number of servers it had, then doubled them again, then again, and then again — and is still getting slammed.
Scott Karp wonders whether Facebook will become the arbiter of which Web 2.0 apps become successful (or which ones get hammered into the ground, in iLike’s case). Will all of those 180,000 signups translate into real traffic and/or revenue for iLike? That remains to be seen. Some people prefer an app like Last.fm, which doesn’t have a Facebook widget but has acquired one unofficially, thanks to the resourcefulness of Jeff Jarvis’s son.
And my friend Paul Kedrosky makes a typically insightful point about Facebook’s success — it isn’t that the apps are so good, but that Facebook brings them all together in one place, in the same way Microsoft Office does. That and the social glue that is created through Facebook are a powerful force.