Facebook Changing Application Metrics for the Profile Redesign

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facebook platform developersIn the beginning of the Facebook Platform, the only statistic that Facebook provided to app developers or the general public was total app installations. This, understandably, encouraged developers to gain as many app installs as possible so as to appear successful in the system. Unfortunately, this led to many low quality “viral” apps.

In the months that followed, Facebook changed the published app metric to daily active users (while still publishing an approximate total install number). That change encouraged developers to think less in terms of pure distribution and more in terms of retention and engagement (though the daily window is still pretty short for measuring activity).

Now that the Facebook redesign virtually eliminates the old concept of “installing” an app (users will now be able to access apps without integrating them into their profile at all), Facebook is changing published metrics for apps again. When the redesign launches, Facebook says it will publish two new stats for apps:

  • Weekly active users (instead of daily)
  • Canvas page views (new)

In addition, Facebook is going to provide developers with aggregate stats on how users are interacting with every profile integration point, including:

  • # users who have added your application tab
  • # users who have added your application profile box
  • # users who have added your application info section
  • # users who have bookmarked your application
  • # users who are subscribed to your application emails

This “version 3″ of app stats show how much Facebook wants developers to create applications that are engaging by these metrics – bringing users back at least once a week, giving users deep experiences on the canvas page, and being valuable enough to users that they want to make your application part of their profile.