Facebook App Phenomenon Leads Slide to Open NYC Office

When Facebook opened its platform to application developers a year ago, some wondered whether actual dollars would come of it. In the case of app company Slide, Facebook’s move and a similar, later decision by MySpace, have helped create a need for new hires and physical expansion into new markets. The San Francisco-based firm moved into new NYC digs Monday, and is prepared to hire new salespeople in New York and possibly elsewhere.

“We hired one salesperson for the New York office, and we’ll be staffing up as well with additional resources,” said Sonya Chawla, Slide’s GM, advertising. Jason Bitensky, the former director of national sales at AOL Media Networks/Platform-A, will head up the new Morton Street office in the West Village as director of East Coast sales.

“We started getting a lot of inquiries from advertisers from the East Coast,” explained Chawla. “It’s very critical that we have a presence here to capitalize on those inbound inquiries.”

Currently, Slide has “about five people” on its sales staff, she said, adding, “We’re growing that number aggressively.”

Social networking site visitors use Slide’s applications to adorn photos of their buddies with things like virtual AT&T Wireless phones, or to send their Web friends digital bottles of Vitamin Water.

Companies including Palm and Fox are recent ad partners, while Discovery Channel remains an ad client after signing on as an original partner last summer.

Slide has seen most advertiser interest from likely U.S. cities: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Detroit. “We’ve been able to cover the L.A. market with our San Francisco-based team,” said Chawla. “But we’re likely to invest more resources in those other markets [Chicago, L.A. and Detroit] as well,” she continued.

The company is also piquing interest from U.K. agencies. “The Harold and Kumar campaign [for the New Line Cinema film] was done through a London-based agency; the second [highest] amount of inbound inquiries is from the U.K,” Chawla told ClickZ News.

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