Facebook attracts more than a billion mobile users each month and 66 percent of its revenues come from this channel. In fact, mobile users spend 20 percent of their mobile time on Facebook!
Facebook’s success on mobile, whether from the point of view of the audience size or monetization, is unparalleled.
Instagram and WhatsApp (acquired respectively in April 2012 and February 2014) are two other social apps also with phenomenal audience success, although several notches below. They’re not profit centers yet and will not be discussed here.
What about the blue giant’s mobile diversification strategy beyond the main app and purchased successes?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long talked about Facebook Groups being the next big point for innovation within the company. It looks like that time comes today, as Facebook Creative Labs announced a new app for iOS and Android users, Facebook Groups.
With the Facebook Groups app, users can see and post in their groups, as well as easily create new groups.
Facebook Product Manager Shirley Sun described the app in a blog post:
People use Facebook Groups every day to stay in touch with family, collaborate on projects, plan trips and offer support to friends.
Today, we’re introducing a new Facebook Groups app that helps people share faster and more easily with all the groups in their life. We built this app with the people who use Groups the most in mind, like:
- Students from Donda’s House, an arts nonprofit in Chicago, who use groups to stay in touch during and after a 12-week music program
- A class of dental students in Brazil who use a group to post notes and reminders about upcoming tests and due dates
- Nine best friends spread out across Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and England who use a group to keep connected
Facebook wants you to play more games.
In addition to a module directly in News Feed, Facebook has added recommended games and apps boxes above the right-hand sidebar and above the ticker.
Facebook continues to grow as the dominant social login mechanism around the web, Janrain reports. In Q3 2014, the social network put 2 percent more ground between itself and Google as the main way people log into apps.
46 percent of the social logins around the web happen via Facebook, with Google a strong No. 2 at 34 percent.
Janrain Senior Product Marketing Manager Michael Olson wrote about the current social login landscape:
Despite reports of privacy concerns and young people abandoning the network, Facebook’s value to consumers as a social login provider shows no signs of declining. Facebook increased its lead over Google during the past quarter, marking its second consecutive quarter of growth. Yahoo slipped to its lowest share ever, with Twitter picking up momentum in third place.
Facebook’s App Links, which takes users from a Facebook post or ad into the company’s native app (bypassing the mobile web), are becoming more widely adopted by the day. Announced in April at f8, App Links continues to grow as developers embrace deep linking.
But how will that change Facebook’s ad and usage habits as more developers get on board? Inside Facebook spoke with deep linking expert Liron Shapira, the Chief Science Officer of Quixey, which calls itself “The Search Engine for Apps.” Shapira spoke about deep linking in general, as well as how Facebook’s and Google’s efforts differ.
Inside Facebook: What do you think of App Links so far?
Liron Shapira: App Links is a great standard. It’s helping promote deep links in general because it’s giving developers a way to document the fact that these deep links exist in a standardized way, and that promotes developers to support deep linking and deep link to one another. Google app indexing is similar in a lot of ways.
Facebook on Tuesday introduced two new analytics tools for app developers.
Now app developers will have access to label cohorts and retention charts within app insights. Through label cohorts, developers can create groups of people within their app and measure important factors, such as revenue or time spent in the app, against their app as a whole. With retention charts, developers can analyze how well the app is retaining users over time, making it easier to see if certain changes corresponded to a dip or rise in engagement or retention.
Facebook has redesigned its app settings page, making it easier for users to manage app permissions, as well as delete Facebook apps they don’t use anymore.
By going to the settings screen, then apps, users can see all apps they’ve connected with via Facebook, as well as toggle features such as personalization.
Tailoring your News Feed to your interests and likes has been a core concept of Facebook since its early beginnings. But have you noticed that now, when Facebook recommends a store, brand, film, etc., it also lets you know which of your friends like it, too? When that happens, do you scratch your head and say to yourself, “Well, how do they know what my friends like?”
King still rules, in terms of Facebook apps. The maker of the highly addictive game Candy Crush Saga has three of the top five Facebook apps, sorted by daily active users (DAU).
While Candy Crush Saga is the top Facebook app, of course, Farm Heroes Saga is No. 2 in Facebook DAU, according to AppData. Pet Rescue Saga is No. 5.
Check below to see the full leaderboard of most popular Facebook apps.
Facebook’s App Links product — aimed at helping people go straight from a News Feed post or ad into an app — has been fairly popular so far. The company announced Thursday an analytics suite, better support for Windows Phone and a blog for news about the technology.
So far, hundreds of apps such as Spotify, Hulu and Airbnb have used App Links to create more than 3 billion unique URLs.