Facebook Tweaks Formula for Calculating Active Application Users

Facebook made a change to the way that it counts active users for applications starting last Friday. Now, likes and comments on stream content published by the app are no longer counted. The results of the change are already very visible for many apps on AppData, but Facebook says the calculations are still in progress, so the numbers for all apps may not yet be updated.

This change affects all apps, Facebook says, but active user counts for mobile apps will be most significantly affected, because many of them generate user content that gets a lot of likes and comments. This explains some of the wild swings we’ve seen in the active user counts lately for Facebook’s own mobile apps as well, like Facebook for iPhone.

Conceptually, we think this change to the way Facebook calculates active users for applications makes a lot of sense. People who like or comment on stream content published by an app shouldn’t be counted as active users like canvas page viewers are.

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4 Responses to “Facebook Tweaks Formula for Calculating Active Application Users”

  1. Facebook Amends Its Monthly Active User Algorithm says:

    [...] InsideFacebook reports, mobile apps will be the most affected because their very nature is to help generate new [...]

  2. Facebook Amends Its Monthly Active User Algorithm says:

    [...] InsideFacebook reports, mobile apps will be the most affected because their very nature is to help generate new [...]

  3. City of Wonder Hits the Top of This Week’s List of Fastest-Growing Facebook Apps by DAU says:

    [...] note before the list: Facebook has changed its reporting formula for apps to stop counting likes and comments on stream content toward total users. The most affected category is mobile apps, though, so stats [...]

  4. Quora says:

    What impact on Tumblr’s and Twitter’s growth did Facebook’s change in late August 2010 that caused their daily active users on Facebook to both fall by about 50% in a matter of a couple days?…

    In late August 2010, Facebook altered the calculation of active users to no longer include likes and comments on application generated feed stories. This change would affect apps like twitter and tumblr more than games since twitter and tumblr posts ar…

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