Latest Update to Facebook’s Official Stats Shows Surge in Off-Site Traffic

Facebook has updated its official statistics page with new numbers that show how it has become much more than a social networking web site.

While the on-site platform appears to be entering a new phase of slower growth and more monetization, the social plugins and Graph API that Facebook launched earlier this year are giving it wider reach than ever before.

First, the on-site platform. Users are now installing 20 million applications per day. This appears to be a new stat so it’s not clear if it’s higher or lower than previous months. Considering that Facebook says it has more than 500 million users, that’s 4% of the user base installing an app every day. The percentage may be slightly lower, though, as Facebook’s ad tool shows it having 573 million monthly active users as of December 1st, and comScore shows it having even more.

Two stats were also removed in this update, reducing the clarity of what’s going on: “Every month, more than 70% of Facebook users engage with Platform applications,” and “More than 550,000 active applications currently on Facebook Platform.”

Overall, the developer community continues to stretch across the globe, with 190 countries represented on the platform today versus 180 when the last stats update happened in October. The number of developers — one million — is unchanged.

Moving beyond the application platform, Facebook continues to expand to the web. It now has more than 250 million users engaging with its external products, including Connect, the Like button and other “social plugins.” That’s up from 150 million in late June, and 60 million in February — the launch of plugins and the Graph API in late April has clearly helped Facebook make itself a more central part of how people use the web. Since the new products, Facebook also says that its getting 10,000 more web sites integrating with it per day; around 2 million are using the social plugins, from 1 million in June.

And this number isn’t just showing smaller. Facebook continues to get more of the largest on the web. In October, it said it had two-thirds of comScore’s list of the 100 largest web sites on board. Now it says it has more than 80. Worldwide, it has gone from getting half of the largest sites to “over half.”

Stacking these numbers against the total user base, Facebook is getting big portions engaging with it across the web. For another example of how it’s doing off-site, it also recently said that it has more than 200 million people interacting with its products on mobile devices.


Another data point is developer traffic on the platform — many of the largest social games and other applications have had big drops in MAU counts in the past year as Facebook has altered features and policies. At the same time, we’ve seen evidence of many smaller developers prospering. Given the information available, the platform is clearly entering a slower-growing, mature stage, where the focus has become more on making money and less on growth.

Connect has been around for years, but Facebook’s renewed efforts to build on it with the plugins and Graph API has quickly paid off. With its big and growing portions of off-site users, Facebook has the opportunity to integrate even more of its features, like Credits and ads, with everywhere users are.

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