Fast Typing, Cities and Growth from MindJolt on This Week’s List of Fast Facebook Growers by Monthly Active Users

Devoted game designers may feel like giving up the profession when they see the top entry on this week’s AppData list of fastest-gaining Facebook apps by monthly active users (MAU). How Fast Are You?! PROVE IT, the entire aim of which is to type the ABCs quickly, may just be the simplest game since cow-tipping, with a similar lack of staying power after the few first moments of amusement.

That’s just our judgment, of course, and over a million people disagree, based on the proportion of five-star reviews the game is getting. And whatever its flaws, How Fast Are You?! does serve to illustrate one of the core precepts of design on Facebook: games can get away with a bare-bones interface as long as they pull off a single addictive feature well.

The addictive feature in this case is not typing the alphabet, it’s posting the time score to your wall — and all of your friends’ walls — to create a kindergarten-esque rivalry. Anyway, here’s the rest of the list:

Top Gainers This Week – Games
Name MAU Gain Gain, %
1. How Fast Are You?! PROVE IT 1,915,222 +833,647 +43.53
2. FarmVille 83,127,751 +561,878 +0.68
3. My City Life 3,908,234 +537,319 +13.75
4. Bubble Island 1,206,844 +477,796 +39.59
5. PetVille 19,619,857 +475,914 +2.43
6. Tiki Resort 1,349,205 +453,493 +33.61
7. Ninja Saga 3,926,247 +453,121 +11.54
8. MindJolt Games 19,925,788 +398,103 +2.00
9. SPP Ranch! 2,574,025 +322,755 +12.54
10. School of Wizardry 2,489,563 +314,209 +12.62
11. My Town 3,310,758 +285,824 +8.63
12. Zoo World 20,312,073 +250,609 +1.23
13. Glamble 360,767 +247,387 +68.57
14. Jeux Gratuits 242,236 +242,176 +99.98
15. MMA Pro Fighter 526,034 +226,629 +43.08
16. Roulette Madness 953,828 +220,823 +23.15
17. Texas HoldEm Poker 27,280,073 +213,572 +0.78
18. Country Life 8,558,831 +208,351 +2.43
19. Bejeweled Blitz 10,492,337 +197,576 +1.88
20. Towner 447,330 +186,006 +41.58

Through the entire list, MAU growth is about half of what it was last week. FarmVille, which has led the rankings for several weeks, has finally dropped down to number two with only half a million new users.

Third is My City Life, which has done quite well since we reviewed its new class of SimCity-style games in mid-February. It’s followed by Bubble Island, a Wooga game that adds social features to the classic bubble-blasting concept — if you lose a life to falling bubbles, it can be regenerated by getting your friends to play.

We’ll pass over the next few places to land on MindJolt Games, which offers users a large catalog of licensed games, at number eight. As we recently reported, a team of ex-MySpace execs bought MindJolt for an undisclosed sum in the tens of millions range. Judging only by MindJolt’s current numbers on Facebook (there’s also a website), the acquirers paid over a dollar per user.

But it’s also interesting to see that MindJolt, which had not gained many users for a few months before the deal, began growing again shortly before the acquisition. Now each week it adds a couple percentage points to its total fairly reliably. Chances are, a new growth strategy was put in place before the acquisition was announced — and whatever it is, it’s working.