There's a new wave of Facebook apps appearing that offer more than just games and basic function. We've found four to watch.

Despite the surge in popularity of micro-blogging site Twitter, social network Facebook is still huge with web users. One of its draws are the huge number of apps the build on the site's platform.

Initially, the apps were fairly basic, there's a new wave of apps, sites and services appearing that signal a departure from this.

This summer, around 20 startups toiled away in Facebook's offices, tinkering with their products and trying to differentiate themselves from an already crowded marketplace of companies looking to build a business on the social network.

The programme is part of Facebook's fbFund Rev, a $10m incubator scheme fueled by the social network and two venture capital firms. The goal is to breathe life into small startups to get up and going until they can obtain more seed funding from investors.

This next wave of apps are less reliant on running just on Facebook; they run as standalone sites or services. Many design their products to work with other social networks, too, such as Twitter.

To work with Facebook, however, they utilise Facebook Connect, a technology that enables users to log into third-party sites using their Facebook log-in and password.

Once there, the activities they perform on that site can be streamed back into Facebook and viewed by friends. As a result, in recent months, we've seen more traditional websites and services being able to tap into the Facebook platform.

While several of the startups were interesting, four stuck out for me. Take a quick look at them.


Thread wants to set you up on your next date. The concept, according to its founders, is simple: friends of friends are the best people to date.

Logging in with your Facebook credentials, you can see those friends and their friends, and send a message to your mutual friend to see if it might be a good fit. This startup was the darling of the lot, as it garnered $1.2m in seed funding as a result of its work this summer.

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  1. These apps bring more functionality to the social networking site
  2. Wildfire, Sociable and Run There