The Very Long Tail Of Facebook Applications

Earlier this week I published an article about the long tail of Facebook Pages, exploring the distribution of fans among over 1.2 million Pages. Today I decided that it would be a good idea to do a similar analysis of Facebook applications, the findings of which are a stark contrast to Monday’s article. One thing that’s immediately clear is that Facebook applications have an extremely steep drop off from the top applications. The most interesting statistic that I found was that over 60 percent of applications have between 1 and 100 monthly active users.

Also of interest was that 46,604 applications have at least 1 daily active user as of this morning. So what was the average number of users for any given application? Not including those applications with 0 monthly active users, the average number of monthly active users for any application was 9,437. Additionally the average number of daily active users is 790. So what does this mean for application developers? It really depends on what a developer’s goal are. Only 1 percent of applications currently have over 75,000 monthly active users but that doesn’t mean other applications never surpassed the 75k threshold (75k being an arbitrary limit in this case).

Almost 4 percent of applications have over 10,000 monthly active users which isn’t bad. Many of these statistics don’t provide the most important details though. The further you move down the tail, the more frequently ranking change (which would be expected). What would be interesting though is to see the average lifespan of an application. Do the majority surpass a certain limit and stay on the leaderboard or do most thrive then die.

Additionally, do many applications never make it beyond a certain limit? These are all questions that we’ll attempt to answer in a later post but for now, we’ve compiled a few charts to display the distribution of Facebook applications based on monthly and daily active users.