DataPoint: Facebook Algorithm Changes and Social Game Developers

How will new Facebook algorithm changes affect social game developers? It may make the space less innovative.


Facebook recently announced that its News Feed algorithm would start favoring explicit shares from third-party apps over implicit shares. “We’ve found that people engage more with stories that are shared explicitly rather than implicitly, and often feel surprised or confused by stories that are shared implicitly or automatically,” wrote Peter Yang on the Facebook blog.

What does this mean for developers? Users who explicitly share through a third-party app are potent brand ambassadors — they’ve taken the extra step. However, it will probably become more difficult for apps to rise in rank, because they won’t be able to get a free pass from users. Success will be more difficult to come by, similar to other changes that have recently been made to News Feed.

This may give an advantage to apps that are already at the top. If it gets harder for new apps to break into the space, established apps can get comfortable with the view from above. We previously covered how King alone takes 25 percent of the app market. Let’s take a look at the top 10 games on the platform, in terms of market share, courtesy of AppData:

  1. Candy Crush Saga [King]: 10.56 percent market share, No. 1 on AppData’s Power Rankings.
  2. Farm Heroes Saga [King]: 4.18 percent, No. 2.
  3. Pet Rescue Saga [King]: 2.99 percent, No. 4.
  4. Criminal Case [Pretty Simple]. 1.62 percent, No. 10.
  5. Dragon City [Social Point]: 1.59 percent, No. 11.
  6. Farmville 2 [Zynga]: 1.42 percent, No. 12.
  7. Papa Pear Saga [King]: 1.27 percent, No. 14.
  8. Texas HoldEm Poker [Zynga]: 1.22 percent, No. 15
  9. Hay Day [Supercell]: 1.04 percent, No. 18
  10. Words with Friends [Zynga]: 0.97 percent, No. 19

King continues to dominate the market. So far this year, both Hay Day and Words with Friends have made great gains. Let’s see if they continue the trend with Facebook’s new algorithm changes.