We have been tracking the usage in each individual Facebook application since the launch of their platform, so I have been following the discussion questioning the utility of the majority of applications published to date. A lot of Facebook applications are perceived as “time-wasters”, but I should caution that the number of apps in a category do not translate directly into active users:
As an example there are much fewer Dating apps than Sports apps, but Dating apps generate far more active users. Moreover, Messaging generates more active users than other “less useful” categories, and has grown the fastest over the last month:
Developers select the categories for their applications, so besides double-counting apps that are assigned multiple categories, inconsistencies in how the developers assign their apps to categories affect the results. We addressed some of these issues by categorizing the top applications ourselves. For more on the Facebook Application Platform, check the most recent edition of our research report. Also, Roger Magoulas of O’Reilly Research will present some of our most recent findings at the upcoming Graphing Social Patterns conference.