Questionable Tactics Prevail on This Week’s List of Top Emerging Facebook Apps

Zynga ripoffs have returned on this week’s AppData list of Facebook apps still under a million monthly users, in the form of Mafia Wars Weekly Loot Collection. This single app gained almost 900,000 hopeful users over the course of a single week, despite its fairly obvious lack of connection to the real Mafia Wars.

A few weeks back, we were seeing similar apps spring up around FarmVille. Players quickly wised up and stopped using the apps. But although it appears that quite a few visitors to Loot Collection realize it’s a scam, it’s still our top app this week.

Here are the rest of the apps:

Top Gainers This Week
Name MAU Gain Gain, %
1. Mafia Wars Weekly Loot Collection948,844+881,596+92.91
2. Friends Quizzes802,695+600,568+74.82
3. Friend Poll!611,274+597,203+97.70
4. Мартеници353,017+349,509+99.01
5. Towner374,480+300,446+80.23
6. Roulette Madness941,105+266,594+28.33
7. Glamble330,973+235,535+71.16
8. Poker Madness870,977+233,957+26.86
9. MMA Pro Fighter500,745+233,384+46.61
10. Capitales del mundo!620,756+203,713+32.82
11. Jewel Puzzle 2463,724+155,232+33.48
12. Mahjongg Dimensions551,115+151,073+27.41
13. Okey Oyna755,140+139,714+18.50
14. Horoscope du Jour485,343+138,299+28.50
15. Funflow694,495+132,088+19.02
16. Jumping Dog501,583+126,951+25.31
17. VIP Challenge483,558+126,618+26.18
18. Farkle 2535,710+119,575+22.32
19. Youtopia669,005+113,245+16.93
20. Dnevni Horoskop ®113,499+108,146+95.28

Although it’s not clear from the names, most of the apps listed are games. We’ll cover those over on sister site Inside Social Games. The remaining five are easily split up: two quizzes, two horoscopes and a gifting app. We’ll look at all of them here.

The quizzes are at the top: Friends Quizzes and Friend Poll!. As you may have guessed from the icons, these two are identical apps. Both are built by a developer called FriendQuizzes.

Like the top app this week, these two appear to be acting outside of Facebook’s platform policies. Facebook recently added a requirement that all apps give their users the option of receiving notifications, and the option of posting to their wall or not. FriendQuizzes has figured out the loophole in those rules. When you first access the app, there’s the Facebook notification asking if it can contact your email, and directly below, a box to enter your email.

The box is by FriendQuizzes, and you can’t progress unless you enter your email (and it checks for fake domains). The same dance follows for wall posting; Facebook gives you the option of posting or not, but FriendQuizzes won’t load its next screen unless you allow posting.

Once you’re into the app, it turns out that it’s pretty much identical to Friend Quiz and Topzy’s Friends Exposed and, two more quiz apps that are in turn nearly identical to one another. But those two have, combined, almost 30 million monthly average users — gained with similar loopholes, similar yes / no question format, similar design.

We expect Facebook to enforce their policies here, shortly.

Moving on, there’s the gifting app, Мартеници. It’s Bulgarian, and doubles as a holiday app; the purpose is for users to give each other martenitsas, small decorative items that are typically handed out in Bulgaria in March. According to our Global Market Monitor report, Bulgarians have just started arriving on Facebook en masse, so it’s interesting to see them have a popular app so soon.

Finally, there are the two horoscope apps we mentioned, Horoscope du Jour and Dnevni Horoskop. These are pretty straightforward, but as you can see, they’re also foreign-language apps, in this case in French and Croatian.