Facebook App usage has a long tail

(this post was reposted by WebGuild on their site — here)

Earlier posts from a few months ago by bloggers Tim Oreilly and Chris Anderson concluded that usage of facebook apps do not follow a long tail. Were they looking at usage too early (October 2007) and so they didn’t get a chance to see the usage fully materialize?

The graph below shows facebook apps rank ordered on the x-axis by number of daily active users as of around 1pm PST on December 6, 2007 PST. There are 10,205 apps total of which about 9167 of them have one or more more daily active users.

Both axes of the plot below are displayed on a log-log scale. Compared to sharp drop off shown in the log-log plot on Chris Anderson’s blog based on October data, the tail here based on December data looks much flatter — in a matter of 2 months. One interpretation is that the tail is expanding outward with time as more and more apps get written and people learn to tap into specialized interests.

Long tail. Approximately 40 million users use these apps — some users maybe using more than one app. Of the 10,205 total apps, the top 21 apps account for 20 million active users — only half of the total usage. The top 87 apps for 30 million, and so the remaining apps account for 10 million more — something that is worth paying attention to.

Facebook App Usage on December 6, 2007 (log-log)

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