Berlin Flexes Dev Muscles at Facebook World Hack Day

By Travis Todd |

The very same day that Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage at TechCrunch disrupt in San Francisco to defend his company’s low stock price, 300 developers convened at Café Moscow on Karl Marx Allee in Berlin to help raise the company’s value a bit. This was the second annual Facebook World Hack day event to be held in Berlin, cementing the city in FB’s eyes as one of the top locations for developers in Europe.

Despite dealing with dismal conditions such as slow Wi-Fi and even Github crashing during the day, the 300 developers still managed to develop more than 20 applications for the Facebook platform in just under six hours. Even though it was, as Facebook’s lead engineer in Europe Simon Cross said, a “dismal day for the inter-webs”, it was still an impressive display of hackers in Berlin.

Partner sponsors 500px, Recognize.IM and Deezer all gave out prizes for the hack utilizing their respective APIs the best.

500px awarded a developer backpack and t-shirts to a hack called 500quiz which was described as “like draw something with pictures” allowing you to challenge your friends to guess a word that combines with three pictures you have chosen from the 500px API. Try and guess the word we chose here.

Deezer, a Web-based music streaming service, awarded an iPad to a team called the Swabian Coding Ninjas who developed an easy way to make a music playlist for a party.

Recognize.IM had an interesting problem where two teams of developers developed the same app that allows you to post a picture of a beer and have it recognized by their photo recognition API. The competition ended in a tie, with neither apps functioning completely as expected, and the teams had to settle the winner with game of rock paper scissors. Javi Dolcet and Mike came out on top winning a new Google Nexus phone.

The Facebook prizes were judged by an elite team of Berlin start up names: Eric Wahlforss from Soundcloud, Zoe Adamovicz from Xyologic and Juliane Leopold from Each team won 250 Facebook Ad Credits and an Apple TV, with Best Overall taking home an iPad.

The best game prize went to the team from with an impressive and addictive looking game allowing you to guess which friend was being described by their likes.

Schach and Matt landed the best open graph prize for a memory game based on Facebook friend profile pictures.

Best mobile went to an application from Project A representative Leonard Stellbrink, for Imgbook – an iPad app that allows you to look at just the photos posted to your timeline in a clean layout.

The best overall prize went to an app called Social Road Trip that enables you to mark two points on a map and find friends who live on your route. The team was not there to accept the prize though, having promptly left on their own road trip but promising to develop the hack into a full featured Web app in the near future.

Our unofficial selection for the winner of Tuesday’s event would have been Stephan Schultz with his hack called Facepile Creator. This simple app aggregates all the commenters on your Facebook page into one uniquely designed site. Check out a demo using our Facebook page.

The entire rundown of commentary can be found on the Facebook World Hack Day Berlin group. Overall it was a great day to learn about new advances in the Facebook Open Graph and see an impressive display of Berlin’s developer talent.