Facebook developers have been quivering since the site first announced its redesign: Their worry was that the changes, which are supposed to clean up the site and make it easier to use, would not coincidentally torch traffic to their apps. The new design cuts down on the ability for apps to go “viral” super fast, and knocks out tried and true — if somewhat shady — tactics to build short-term traffic. Anecdotally, we hear that developers’ fears have been justified: Some of them are seeing a huge dropoff in traffic. And apps that have no real purpose except to sit on your profile are being hit especially hard.
But that doesn’t mean that all developers are getting hurt. Some of them tell us that they’ve seen the opposite since the redesign kicked in, and have seen “hockey stick” growth in the last month or so. Some examples:
- Bevy: A women’s fashion app that allows people to browse through catalogues of various clothing stores. The app launched in May, but since mid August, the app has taken off – going from about 4,000 monthly active users to almost 41,000.
- Street Football: A soccer game developed by IBTGames.com. The app launched in late August, but it’s grown to 41,000 monthly active users in just about a month. Impressive because the conventional wisdom about the redesign was that starting a new app was going to be tougher under the new conditions.
- Watercooler: Watercooler makes sports and TV entertainment apps, and while they wouldn’t provide us with numbers, they did give us this graph that purports to show that traffic on their various apps on Facebook is up significantly.
- Causes: Causes allows users to donate and get their friends to donate to various non-profits around the world. President Joe Green tells us that traffic is up over the last couple of months, but more importantly, donations are up about 15% a day (about $3.25 million has been donated since the app launched last year).
Not surprisingly, when we ask these guys what they’re doing right, their answers come right from the Facebook playbook: They tell us their apps give people something to interact with and come back too often. And once the clutter (i.e. the less “useful” apps) got cleared away, “good” apps have more room to grow. We’ll check back with them later in the year, and see if the story has changed.
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