FarmVille is starting to suffer from waning user interest, a phenomena that dealt killer blows to the likes of MySpace and Friendster in the past. However, in case of FarmVille, the decline in daily active users is also a result of CityVille stealing gamers away from the farms and moving them to the cities.
Zynga’s CityVille now occupies the third spot when it comes to daily active users, with more than 20 million users playing the game every day. FarmVille has moved down to a distant sixth, with around 13 million daily active users.
However, a surprise in the charts is Microsoft’s Live Messenger app for Facebook that is now being used by more than 14 million Facebook users day in and day out. This is the first time that the messaging app has managed to ebb past FarmVille ever since it was launched in June 2010. The change in positioning at the Facebook App Leaderboard is a testament of both the declining stars of FarmVille and a bright future of the messaging app.
Microsoft has also officially acknowledged the numbers and have chipped in with a few stats of their own. According to Piero Sierra at Windows Steam Blog:
Over 22 million people have now connected Facebook to Messenger.
Facebook chat from Messenger and Hotmail is by far the most popular feature of our partnership with Facebook. The number of minutes spent on Facebook chat from Messenger has grown nearly 25% since we made this feature available worldwide in Messenger at the beginning of February (and a few weeks ago, Facebook chat came to Hotmail users worldwide, too). Messenger now powers nearly 4 billion minutes of Facebook chat per month.
And its not just chatting, messenger users are also using their app to post status updates, share links, and post photos and files to Facebook. Besides the messaging app, Microsoft is also deeply collaborating with Facebook in search. Microsoft not just powers Facebook search, it also uses Facebook’s social data to enrich Bing’s search results in real-time.
Instead of building or buying its own Facebook clone, Microsoft has made the strategic decision of partnering with Facebook. The Microsoft-Facebook partnership along with Microsoft’s deals with the Deal Radar for daily deal search and Kayak for integrating better flight data into Bing reflects a more collaborative mindset. Perhaps, Microsoft has realized that the only way to compete with Google is to build alliances.
[image via blogs.msdna]