Here’s some interesting stats from inside Facebook re: the Facebook apps phenomenon.
Here you go (thanks to Nick Denton of Valley Wag Valley Wag for this):
– There are a total of around 1,131 apps
– Of the last 500 approved, only 5 have over 100,000 members, and none have over 200,000
– Only 5 within the last 500 have between 10,000 to 100,000
– Meaning that 489 out of the last 500 apps have less than 10,000 members
– The two main reasons for the slow down in virality of apps are: 1) Saturation 2) Facebook clamping down on allowing members passing apps to their whole address book
So there you go, as with much of web 2.0, Facebook apps are more hype than reality, and certainly aren’t the route to rapid virality now that the Facebook team have limited the networking routes.
The message for any brands (or anyone else for that matter) who are thinking of developing a Facebook app is therefore: is it a risk worth taking? Especially given that a Facebook app without Facebook isn’t worth the code its written in . . . This situation may change in the future, however for now Facebook’s ability to generate true app virality is limited