Marc Andreeson, founder of the original Netscape, has posted his thoughts on Facebook’s new API, which has created quite the storm of attention since it launched. This observation is quite interesting:
The implication is, in my view, quite clear — the Facebook Platform is primarily for use by either big companies, or venture-backed startups with the funding and capability to handle the slightly insane scale requirements. Individual developers are going to have a very hard time taking advantage of it in useful ways.
In short, creating a Facebook application with the API requires that you provide your own server resources to power the application. Facebook’s super-viral distribution of popular apps leads to crushing load on your web servers in a very short amount of time if you are (un)lucky enough to create a popular application.
The capacity to rapidly scale up server capacity is probably beyond even some large corporation’s ability unless they have specifically prepared themselves to do so. Your web application needs to be designed for scaling up the number of servers as well.