Phrases Appears to, But Doesn’t Really, Pass FarmVille on This Week’s List of Fastest-Growing Facebook Apps by MAU

We’ve been tracking Phrases, the largest non-game app on Facebook, for some time. During the past week, the monthly active user count of the gigantic quiz and quote app finally intersected with FarmVille’s slowly declining MAU, leaving Phrases as the apparent king of the MAU hill on Facebook. The app’s unflagging growth also once again put it in first place on our weekly AppData list of fastest-growing Facebook apps by MAU.

Looks can be deceiving. Take a peek at the list, then keep reading for more on why Phrases is still only second-largest:

Top Gainers This Week
Name MAU Gain Gain,%
1. Original Phrases 54,354,641 +1,880,804 +4%
2. App_2_120956284629356_2299 Tag Friends 1,843,704 +1,746,064 +1,788%
3. App_2_181606049889_436 Social Fun 4,797,582 +1,575,029 +49%
4. App_2_142727279103775_7311 Hollywood City 2,693,307 +1,307,478 +94%
5. App_2_159048707462697_4831 Vegas City 1,869,890 +1,280,241 +217%
6. App_2_120563477996213_5785 Ravenwood Fair 4,121,987 +1,043,662 +34%
7. Original BandPage by RootMusic 11,008,638 +916,818 +9%
8. App_2_129547877091100_7928 Crime City 5,929,264 +906,783 +18%
9. App_2_130972710269090_3907 Social Statistics 3,181,553 +696,393 +28%
10. App_2_125318280856717_8426 Island God 1,095,505 +665,885 +155%
11. Original Game of Truth 918,801 +637,001 +226%
12. App_2_101282379928627_4393 Intelligent Elite 1,305,703 +561,708 +75%
13. App_2_157531047591855_5508 Simply Hospital 2,666,279 +540,667 +25%
14. Original FrontierVille 28,667,456 +440,786 +2%
15. Original لعبة الحقيقة 2,718,731 +440,376 +19%
16. App_2_118323554871143_5308 Entrevista Amigos 1,032,298 +423,228 +69%
17. Original Are YOU Interested? 14,435,816 +421,385 +3%
18. App_2_147473548614850_4042 عيد على صحابك 502,885 +405,987 +419%
19. Original Bubble Island 5,465,582 +404,715 +8%
20. App_2_333713683461_1100 Horoscopes 6,627,759 +376,101 +6%

The problem with Phrases’ MAU count is that it’s a trailing measurement of the past 30 days, so any drop in MAU takes that long to appear in the numbers. A more accurate day-to-day indicator is the daily active user count, in a graph of which we can see the effect of Phrases’ recent suspension in the United States:

Phrases was first suspended a month ago, when Facebook briefly cut it off worldwide. The app was then allowed to resume, but after another week, stopped serving American users. Its DAU has since fallen by over three million users. (AppData Pro subscribers can access full historical graphs, among other metrics, but the above 30 day measurement shows enough for our purposes here.)

We’ll see a corresponding drop in MAU within two or three weeks. After that begins, Phrases’ MAU measurement may even fall below that of Zynga’s second-biggest app, Texas HoldEm Poker, which has 35 million MAU.

Tag Friends and Social Fun both appear following Phrases. These are both types of friend quizzes, which ask questions and then post the answers to your, or your friend’s, wall; these apps tend to grow quickly and die young, generally as victims of Facebook policy enforcers. Lately we’ve only seen friend quizzes with mostly international userbases, like these two.

Hollywood City, Ravenwood Fair and the other games you see on the list are helping to define a new generation of successful developers on Facebook. Two especially stand out; you can read more on our corresponding Inside Social Games list.

Finally, BandPage by RootMusic has accelerated its growth considerably, and appears to be well on its way to becoming the dominant music page app on Facebook.

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One Response to “Phrases Appears to, But Doesn’t Really, Pass FarmVille on This Week’s List of Fastest-Growing Facebook Apps by MAU”

  1. FarmVille Loses Number One Facebook App Slot to Phrases, But For How Long? says:

    [...] users, FarmVille is still well ahead, and Phrases has in fact been losing ground as it recently stopped serving U.S. users. With a sharp drop in daily active users in the middle of November, Phrases is likely to [...]

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