The Most Engaging Application Categories on Facebook

By Adam Lovallo Comment

The looming Facebook profile redesign comes after over a year since the Platform’s launch. While no one knows exactly what will happen, some expect the changes to spur the development of new types of meaningful applications – while simultaneously stifling spammy applications that have plagued the platform.

In anticipation of this potential inflection point, Inside Facebook has categorized the top applications (those apps engaging over 5,000 daily active users) by category across the entire platform. We did this to compare the Platform economy today to where it might be in the future.

Of the 577 applications with over 5,000 daily active users, here’s how they break down:

I dealt with two main issues in my categorization efforts: 1) many apps are listed in the very generic “Just For Fun” category, and 2) many applications are listed under two categories. I handled these issues by placing the “Just For Fun” apps into other appropriate categories and selecting the most fitting category for applications with two assigned categories.

Though some of my assumptions in categorizing will skew the data somewhat, I believe the underlying trends are still meaningful. Clearly, Gaming reigns supreme across the platform, while the more utilitarian categories (utility, money, file sharing etc) have been largely neglected by both users and developers.

It will be interesting to see if the speculation around the development and growth of more functional applications will come to fruition in the post-redesign world.