Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Developer Analytics: Advanced Statistics for Facebook Applications (Invites)


Developer Analytics (dA) is a new service that provides detailed statistics for Facebook applications, competing with the likes of Adonomics and Facebook’s in-house stats program – Insights. While it includes the same basic data such as total installs, daily active users and trends over time, it takes analytics to the next level by providing demographic data on each application. We have 1,000 invites to use for Mashable readers - use the code mashable1000 when signing up to gain access to dA’s advanced stats program.

For example, in the below screenshot you can see stats for FunWall by Slide. To the left, demographic data about age and gender, while to the right, deeper analysis of the users. The “App User Overlap” is especially interesting, as you can see that FunWall users are also likely to install other Slide applications – 48% have installed Top Friends, while 20% have added My Questions.

developer analytics

Beyond the individual app analytics, dA maintains leaderboards for the most popular apps, developers, and ad networks. There are some definite disparities between the leaderboard on dA and that on Adonomics, much like there is with the public web traffic measurement services (Alexa, Compete, Quantcast, etc.). I would argue that this is a good thing though – having a few different independent measurement services allows us to better approximate how apps and Web site are performing.

Lastly, dA is looking to build a mini-community for Facebook developers. Each user has their own profile where you can see what apps they’ve built in addition to some basic social features such as “recent visitors” and “related developers.” The site is also compiling a list of “developer interviews” that you can read through. Overall, there is a lot of useful data on dA, especially for advertisers that want to reach specific types of Facebook users by demographics.

As for where dA is headed in the future, one of the company’s co-founders Charles Yong shared some thoughts on how - like many commentators - he thinks the CPM model for advertising is going to eventually fade away. He writes:

“Someone with the right social graph can easily result in tens of thousands of installs, whereas a person with the wrong social graph may fetch only a few extra installs beyond their own. Hence, we believe there may be a paradigm shift in the near future as to how credit is distributed in link exchange and ultimately, advertising. As the platform matures, advertisers will slowly move from the traditional “clickthrough” strategy towards the more organic “viral referral” strategy. Hence, an advertiser should pay more for a referral by a user with 1000 friends, than a user with 3. We hope to be able to measure those values in a meaningful and accurate way.”

On a side note, anecdotally it appears usage of most of the top applications is leveling off or headed downward from clicking through many of the listings on dA’s leaderboard. Along those lines, the service should be a nice tool to use for a follow-up on how Facebook apps are performing in the near future :)


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