Our Top 20 Growing Games List: The First Results After Facebook’s Big Redesign

Facebook introduced a redesigned home page last week that emphasizes an algorithmically-defined feed of updates from your friends, called “Top Stories.” Before we get into our top 20 Facebook games list for this past week, we need to be clear about the significance of the redesign. It could affect any app developer that has grown primarily through sending “stories” about user actions in a game to the raw, real-time stream Facebook had rolled out in March.

Top Gainers This Week
Name MAU Gain↓ Gain, %
1.icon Café World23,814,664+3,755,339+15.77
2.icon FarmVille61,660,329+1,337,570+2.17
3.icon Bejeweled Blitz9,387,901+672,871+7.17
4.icon Pet Society20,714,196+432,279+2.09
5.icon Restaurant City17,454,448+379,576+2.17
6.icon (Lil) Farm Life5,767,916+323,588+5.61
7.icon Pillow Fight2,276,621+277,162+12.17
8.icon Sorority Life7,227,532+241,824+3.35
9.icon Animal Paradise3,947,124+207,116+5.25
10.icon Brain Buddies5,973,563+203,424+3.41
11.icon Country Story8,140,835+198,876+2.44
12.icon Mobsters 2: Vendetta3,499,318+192,998+5.52
13.icon Texas HoldEm Poker18,573,191+190,208+1.02
14.icon Barn Buddy6,863,938+160,981+2.35
15.icon Forever Friends1,129,551+160,185+14.18
16.icon Which Zodiac Sign Are You Most Compatible With?414,224+144,078+34.78
17.icon 開心農場4,304,908+141,047+3.28
18.icon Sunshine Ranch2,434,995+139,408+5.73
19.icon JibJab558,618+132,643+23.74
20.icon Write In Pictures541,397+128,530+23.74

While the real-time stream is still available on the home page, the default is Top Stories; it is not yet clear how much Facebook is promoting app feed stories within the Top Stories view. Also, the real-time stream has been revised to show you more types of items than it had before, such as who your friends recently became friends with. In other words, feed stories about games may be becoming less obvious to users, both within top stories and within the raw stream.

As the redesign went live on Friday morning, there have been two and a half days for the redesign to have an effect. From this early data, it does appear that at least some of the largest apps are growing slower than they had been. Before diving any deeper, though, we need to caution that not enough time has passed to allow for clear conclusions about the redesign’s long-term effect on gaming apps.

Also, we’ve recently rolled out an update to AppData that shows daily active users. While we’ve been tracking this number for months, we’ve only now made it public. So have yourselves a look at your favorite game on AppData to see how it may be affected.

Here’s a look at the top 20 Facebook games from last week, from October 18th through yesterday.

Slower growth?

Number one on our list, Zynga‘s virtual restaurant simulation Café World still grew fast last week, gaining 3.76 million users to reach 23.8 million monthly actives. The previous week, it gained 9.96 million. Granted, the previous week saw such a huge gain partly for another reason: Facebook hadn’t reported new data on the app from October 9th to October 12th. On October 13th, the backlogged data from those days got reported, which is why you see a flat line then a big jump in AppData. So, overall, this past week was still a good one for Café World. The interesting part is its daily active user count starting on Friday. While DAUs were gradually increasing earlier in the week, they didn’t, starting on Friday — they’ve now leveled out at around 7.55 million.


Certainly, reporting issues affected Café World’s stats, if not other apps. Yet we’ve noticed something larger: The top 20 list gained 26.3 million total MAU last week, but only 9.42 million this week.