May 2

Ben Lorica

Ben Lorica

Facebook App Categories Ranked By Usage

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.

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Comments: 10

  Jesse Robbins [05.02.08 12:55 PM]

Ben, this is really interesting to see. I didn't realize you were tracking app adoption so broadly. Good Work!


  Sven [05.02.08 01:36 PM]

Facebook is a very good Site .... Thank´s for Stats..

  John A Arkansawyer [05.02.08 08:26 PM]


Pardon my ignorance, but what the heck is a "classified" Facebok app? Is that how I contact my former professor now at NSA? (Or have I just done so by posting this? Or just by typing it into a networked computer? Or! Help! They're here! They'r

I'm sorry about that, Ben. Don't bother answering 's question. I'm sure the answer isn't at all interesting.

  Joey Tyson [05.02.08 11:39 PM]

@John: Think "Classfieds," such as the Marketplace app.

@Ben: Glad you're tracking changes in active users - I find that chart most interesting.

  John A Arkansawyer [05.03.08 04:48 AM]

Thanks, Joey. You not only answered my question, you also got those guys in the dark suits out of my house.

  Universe [05.04.08 01:40 AM]

What is so surprising is how low music is on the list.

This is really surprising considering the popularity of videos and photos.

Could it be fear of copyrights?

  Kate [05.05.08 08:42 AM]

I wonder when Facebook will start "helping" developers select categories . . .? I look forward to more stats! ;-)

  Alexander [05.07.08 07:11 AM]

Thanks Ben, very nice stats. Facebook is a real threat to online casinos where you dont play for real money in my opinion. But whichs apps are in the category "no category"?
bye alex

  Brian Hayashi [06.05.08 10:49 AM]

Good stuff. We've been surveying Facebook users on what they do ranked by frequency (daily, never, etc)...the post is here:

Good stuff!

  Mark [03.25.09 01:30 PM]

Ben, great post here. Curious to hear what you think of Tagle. It aggregates your Facebook and Twitter messages (and a lot of other stuff) so they can be searched and grouped together. Feel free to email me if you have any questions or want to try out the Beta.

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