Hottest Facebook Apps for July 21st

Welcome to the first edition of Hottest Apps – our weekly look at the fastest growing Facebook applications over the last week. Our hope is to look at what’s working both for large and small-but-quickly-growing apps. If you feel like we’ve left something out, please let us know in the comments!

  1. Pirates vs. Ninjas [growth] Pirates vs. Ninjas is a simple viral game where you pick a team (Pirates or Ninjas) and recruit friends to your cause. Like Zombies, it’s not hard to see why this app is growing so fast: the “gameplay” is simple, there are multiple elements of competition, and, well, who doesn’t have an opinion about pirates and ninjas? It’s unlikely, however, that people will play more than one or two of these games. We’ll see if they can create features to keep people interested.
  2. Superlatives [growth] Superlatives is one of three similar apps, but clearly has the model down. You can nominate up to three friends for each superlative, which are hard-coded into the app. These include things like “Best Personality” and “Most likely to end up on MTV cribs.” You can then see who in your networks or on the Facebook as a whole is winning in what categories. The app is fun, but I’d like to see who among my friends is winning in which category and also be able to nominate people for superlatives that aren’t hard-coded into the app.
  3. Apples ‘n’ Oranges [growth] As you might guess from the name, Apples ‘n’ Oranges lets you compare people, not to fruit, but to each other. Who is more brave? Who is more loyal? You’re presented with two pictures — either of two friends or a friend and a celebrity — and you are asked to pick. Binary choice games like this are fun since they require so little effort. You can also send a complimentary basket of apples or oranges to people to invite people to the app.
  4. The Sorting Hat [growth] Does this really need explaining? “The Sorting Hat” is an anthropomorphic hat from the Harry Potter books. When placed on a student’s head it decides which house they should be placed in. No psychic powers here, though. Rather, the app asks a handful of questions and then places the coat of arms from the appropriate house in your profile. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, cool, if not, meh. It is, however, a well-designed and well-timed application.
  5. Talk To Me! [growth] This app lets you send pre-recorded, uploaded, or text-to-speech voice messages. It’s gotten over 10k users in its first week, but I’m not sure the growth is genuine — it automatically prompts you to invite ten friends when you join, skipping the usual “select friends to invite” screen. Frankly, the app is not well built – it is ugly, slow, and confusing. Good on them for growing so quickly, but I’d be surprised if the growth continued.
  6. Big Profile Picture [growth] No, Big Profile Picture doesn’t replace your profile picture — that area is off-limits to apps. Rather, you upload a picture and it gets placed into a box on your profile at a larger resolution than your profile picture. Simple apps that augment existing Facebook features can grow quite quickly, and this app is another example. Edit: This is similar to the Big Photo application which does the same thing, functionally, but markets itself as being for any photo. It also has about 100k users.
  7. Awareness Ribbons [growth] Awareness Ribbons is also simple (noticing a pattern for fast-growing apps?). Pick your causes and the corresponding ribbons will display in your profile. You can sort by ribbon color or cause, and you can also see what ribbons your friends are displaying. Simple, straight-forward, and social.
  8. FB Styles [growth] FB Styles lets you add a bit of color to you Facebook profile. Well, sort of. A “style” is nothing more than a skyscraper-sized image placed in the left-hand column of your Facebook profile.The idea is neat, but there are a two big problems in the execution. First, there’s nothing social about the app. Let me see my friends’ styles! Second, and more annoying, I have to go to their external site to use the application. Browsing and adding styles else requires you to go to their website.
  9. Friends Quotes [growth] No, this isn’t quotes from your friends, it’s quotes from the TV show Friends. You can submit quotes, get statistics about quotes, and choose quotes to put in your profile. It’s one of many “quotes” applications. But the model is successful right now, so who can blame them for making another?
  10. Scrubs Quotes [growth] $previous_post =~ s/Friends/Scrubs/g.
    Like he said, there are a lot of successful quotes apps out there 🙂 It’s impressive that Friends is so popular given it’s been off the air for a while, unlike Scrubs. — Ed.