At the end of last month Facebook announced a major change in the way it measures and ranks applications – shifting from a simplistic approach based solely on the total number of installations to one it claims is based on ‘user engagement’.
In its announcement on the Facebook developers blog, ‘engagement’ is defined as “the number of users who touch your application every day (measured from midnight to midnight each day)” – with ‘touch’ being based on the summation of four key touch points: Canvas Page Views; Link Clicks in FBML; Mock-Ajax Form Submission; and Click-to-Play Flash.
This measurement is now displayed alongside each app in the application directory as the number of ‘Daily Active Users’ together with a percentage showing what proportion of that app’s total number of installations that represents – and app rankings are now based on either Most Active Users or Most Active App.
Right now, the app with the Most Active Users is Top Friends – with 2,773,134 active within the last day, representing 18% of the apps total number of installations (as shown in the screengrab above).
This is undoubtedly a real step forward for anyone interested in the marketing potential of Facebook apps – in particular because it enables the clear differentiation of fad apps from those with lasting user appeal. For example, you can compare Top Friends’ current 18% active rating with that of the recently popular app Food Fight which scores just 2% active over the last day. Pretty clear which is a fad app there.