Facebook released a new version of their app. Unlike what is said this is not an iPad app, but a universal version which runs both on iPhone and iPad. The app got massive traction instantly. Yesterday we tweeted at launch it would reach #1 Free app in less than 6h. It actually reached the #2 spot in less than that. In our trending ranks it is the most talked about app for the past few ours by far. [update about 12 hour later it is #1 Free app now]
Facebook is also reportedly crashing a lot for now, we can read on reports, but this is likely to be fixed today in an update [try to uninstall and reinstall the app, this fixes the problem]. On a side note Facebook has collected to date over 1.8 million ratings on the app store. which is massive for an app (some of the very best like Angry Birds got below 20 000 ratings to date!)
Overall this is an awesome app. Facebook executed perfectly the difficult reconciliation of the rich experience from their new website with a mobile interface.
What is most remarkable is how Facebook is going to impact on what we call “app discovery”. It matters because it both allow you to “notice” what matters but also to take action (either download, access or launch the app if you already have it, which is something nice)
We recently published an answer on Quora about that matter and we reproduce here the content.
This is going to be great for generating adoption and recurring usage the 2 bricks of discovery (which is often limited to the notion of “getting noticed”). But this is going to work only with Apps that have an actual link to Facebook (ie that are somehow using Facebook connect or use Facebook as a broadcasting method). On a a parallel matter this discovery channel will not be really controlled nore monitored by developers but leveraged by users meaning it will be hard to have direct influence on it and real intelligence unless Facebook takes the step to create a paid reference program for apps to help developer emerge out of the crowd and to monitor how their app is actually been used.
As a disclosure note, we at Appsfire, monitor for a long time how apps are being trending (meaning talked about and shared on facebook). This is called appsfire.com/apptrends and there is an intense activity going on already. We expect this activity to increase even more in the next weeks and that will make monitoring even easier.
On a final note, Apps that are not native but usable in iOS via mobile safari will experience a boost. Apple, although claiming that they fully support HTML5 -which they do – never created a promotional famework for mobile web apps, equivalent to the app store. So hopefully this new channel should be great for web apps (except credits won’t be able to be used on those…), but again this is not a marketing platform, meaning controllable by developers.
Overall this is a first great step.