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Has the Facebook platform hit its peak?

The state of the Facebook platform
Jesse Farmer
, formerly of Adonomics, has posted some great analysis on the state of the Facebook developer community. In short, if you take the Facebook developer forums as a proxy for overall activity, the indicators across the board have declined. Now, you might argue that this isn’t a fair proxy (and there’s some analysis in the article on that specific point), but I’d argue it’s a pretty good one to use in order to gauge overall interest and the health of small/medium developers.

In particular, Jesse includes this great table summarizing the data around the Facebook dev forums:

Monthly Statistics for the Facebook Developer Forum
Month: Jan 2008 Apr 2008
Posts per day 461 225 -51%
Signups per day 38 27 -29%
Threads per day 80 44 -44%
Active users 1,606 1,168 -27%
Highly active users 461 225 -47%

As you can see, there’s been a decline across all indicators.

Similarly, if you take one of these factors, let’s say Posts per week, and look at the overall historic trend, you can see that Posts Per Week peaked in the late Jan / early Feb timeframe, and has significantly decreased from there:

Note that MA in the above graph is "4 week moving average" meant to smooth out the ups and downs.

Key issues facing the FB platform
He further hypothesizes a number of different issues going on, including:

  • Other platforms are more attractive
  • Developers are consolidating
  • Facebook has made it too hard to win

Overall, a great analysis – would definitely recommend that you read the full article here.

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