Jesse Farmer has compiled an impressive set of statistics pertaining to the Facebook platform which suggest that the Facebook platform peaked months ago and is on the way down. The beginning of the discussion surrounds a decrease in overall activity on the Facebook developer forum over the past few months. New developer registrations has also decreased substantially in the forums since the initial launch of the platform.
While the forum statistics are only part of the data Jesse uses to suggest a decrease in platform activity, a more important metric yields some less positive results. Jesse created groups of applications based on the week they launched and then checked the average daily active user level for the group of applications three weeks later. Since early November, the average number of active daily users has decreased more than 80 percent.
This means that the average application that launched three weeks ago is now getting less than 2,000 active daily users in comparison to applications which launched in early November and had close to 10,000 active daily users on average. There is no way to say why developers are leaving but we can surely speculate. Here are a few reasons that we think developers are leaving Facebook:
- It has become increasingly difficult to attract news users to applications
- Multiple platforms have now launched including MySpace, Bebo and hi5 and it’s no longer worthwhile to invest all your time on Facebook applications
- Facebook continues to implement selective rules which make it harder for new developers to experience substantial growth
As Jesse says, this doesn’t mean there is no opportunity, it’s just that opportunity is found in new locations. We are seeing consolidation in the space and real build out from larger networks of applications including Zynga, Social Gaming Network, RockYou, Slide and similar companies. Consolidation will continue and the primary players in the space will be forced to pay for new users rather than obtaining new users through the traditional viral channels.