More Boston-Area Companies Join Facebook Bandwagon

Two more local Web companies announced this week that they’ve created applications for Facebook, the phenomenally popular social-networking site that’s seemingly on a mission to become an open-but-proprietary replacement for the World Wide Web.

One company is Framingham, MA-based Nimbit, which offers a range of online services to independent musicians, including the Nimbit Online Merch Table or “OMT.” It’s a software widget designed to be embedded in blogs or other sites, where it functions as an online storefront and information desk. Artists can use the OMT to upload MP3s, album art, and performance schedules, as well as sell MP3s directly to listeners (with Nimbit taking a 20 percent cut). The company’s new Facebook app (you’ll need to be a Facebook member to view the link) allows Facebook users to install the OMT widget right in their Facebook profiles, so they can offer music and merchandise to Facebook users and manage their online stores without ever leaving Facebook.

“If you go to any band’s club gig, you’ll notice to the side of the stage that there’s a banquet table with CDs, T-shirts, a mailing list, and all that. That’s what we’re doing with the Online Merch Table,” says Patrick Faucher, Nimbit’s CEO. “The key differentiator in this new market of music widgets is that ours is not just something you buy an MP3 from—it offers the complete complement of products. So as a fan, I can go to the artist’s Facebook profile, see their OMT, check out their calendar, view their biographies, buy a T-shirt, buy their music, and sign up for a mailing list.” In the near future, Faucher says, the Nimbit OMT will take advantage of Facebook’s built-in networking features; the Facebook mini-feed, for example, might show which songs a member has purchasesd via the OMT.

Meanwhile, RPM Communications of Maynard, MA, released a Facebook version of its voice-blogging service, reviewed here a few weeks ago. The Utterz service makes it easy to record audio clips over your cell phone and post the clips automatically to your blog or social-networking profile, along with photos and videos. RPM’s new app allows Facebook users to embed Utterz players in their profiles, where their friends see and hear what they’ve been up to. When a user records a new “Utterz,” that fact will be broadcast to their friends via the mini-feed.

“Don’t wait to get back to your dorm room to update your Facebook page,” said Michael Bayer, CEO of RPM, in a press release yesterday. “Utterz lets you post instantly, with just your cell, no matter what phone or carrier you have.”

Since we published our list of Boston-area Web companies with Facebook apps on September 27, we’ve learned of seven more companies joining the Facebook universe, counting Utterz and Nimbit. Click here for our (more) complete, updated list.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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