Justin Smith just posted an interesting article about Facebook revealing new application statistics to developers. I went and checked out my own application statistics and compared them to the ones that Justin posted. The result? An almost duplicate chart depicting the source for application installs. Contrary to popular belief, the newsfeed came in third as a source for application installs.
Surprisingly, the most popular source for application installs was the “Add” link within profile boxes. The second runner up was the application directory. Given that I launched this specific application months ago, it is surprising that the application directory was still providing so many installs. The newsfeed came in a close third for application installs. This is definitely valuable information for all application developers.
The lesson learned from this data? Spend more time optimizing content within the profile box rather than focusing on news feed optimization. Valuable content within profiles will entice users to add the application to their own profile. Additionally, this information supports the argument that widgets may in fact be more valuable than I previously suggested. While interactive and engaging applications makes up the majority of activity on Facebook, compelling profile widgets have a place on Facebook.