Yesterday, Facebook made an announcement that they have updated the notification and request metrics. I initially didn’t think much of this announcement and figured it was just a standard Facebook update. According to Justin Smith, most developers have now been limited to 8-12 invitations per day. It appears that more “buckets” have been added. By default applications are now limited to 10 notifications and 8 invites per user per day.
This is yet another change that will have adverse effects on application growth. Facebook continues to restrict applications while encouraging them to build more engaging applications. While I agree with Facebook on building engaging applications, restricting applications significantly by default is not a good strategy. When users can only invite 8 people to an application per day, applications now need to have a 12.5 percent conversion rate up from 5 percent (1 out of 20).
I’ve heard that a 10 percent conversion rate is relatively reasonable for a good application on Facebook but it appears that they have just crossed the threshold. Conversely, Facebook has access to their internal statistics and my guess is that they won’t make changes that force the developers to move to other platforms. While viral strategies have become even more important I hope that viral growth isn’t eventually eliminated.