Facebook Tweaks Formula for Calculating Active Application Users

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Facebook made a change to the way that it counts active users for applications starting last Friday. Now, likes and comments on stream content published by the app are no longer counted. The results of the change are already very visible for many apps on AppData, but Facebook says the calculations are still in progress, so the numbers for all apps may not yet be updated.

This change affects all apps, Facebook says, but active user counts for mobile apps will be most significantly affected, because many of them generate user content that gets a lot of likes and comments. This explains some of the wild swings we’ve seen in the active user counts lately for Facebook’s own mobile apps as well, like Facebook for iPhone.

Conceptually, we think this change to the way Facebook calculates active users for applications makes a lot of sense. People who like or comment on stream content published by an app shouldn’t be counted as active users like canvas page viewers are.