Since Facebook’s latest update, Timeline, third-party apps are seeing increases in traffic.
At the end of last year, Facebook released its Timeline feature (which we covered in this blog post). One aspect to the service that the day-to-day user might not have noticed was the Timeline API that was simultaneously rolled out to developers. Popular sites like Pinterest, Yahoo News, and yes, even MySpace, are reaping the benefits from Facebook’s Timeline.
How can these sites see any kind of profit from a Facebook product release? The aspect that most companies are taking advantage of is called reverse chronological scrapbooking (say that three times fast . . .). When users post stories from these social readers on their Facebook Timeline, the posts can be made to stick permanently to the first half of a user’s wall, serving as a reminder of catchy designs, interesting news stories, or any number of different possibilities.
As users have begun permanently sticking these stories to their Timeline, app developers are seeing increased traffic to their websites. For example, MySpace launched a new music player to further its image as more of a social network for music lovers and musicians, not a Facebook competitor.
One of the biggest new features now on the music player is Facebook integration, which allows MySpace users to share their listening habits with Facebook friends. Since the new launch in December, MySpace reports that its monthly active users have increased from 900,000 to 1.6 million. Additionally, the company said it’s gained 1 million newly registered users since December.
Last year, Yahoo News implemented Facebook sharing of its stories. Since then, the company has seen 6.2 million monthly active users to 15.8 million monthly active users. More importantly, Yahoo’s daily active users have gone up from 1 million to 2 million.
We already highlighted Pinterest’s explosive growth, which was probably aided by pairing users Facebook profiles with their Pinterest’s profiles. Even sites like Digg, which have been steadily declining in recent years, are seeing an upswing in daily active users since teaming up with Facebook Timeline.
Aside from news sites, e-commerce sites are seeing traffic and profit improvements as well. Specifically, Payvment, a social e-commerce site, has reported an increase from 700,000 to 1.3 million monthly active users in the last month. Even though the company is only seeing a 9% impressions boost from Facebook, 50% of its referral traffic is being generated from the massive social networking site.
The most impressive thing about these numbers for Facebook Timeline is that it’s still so new. As Timeline evolves and companies become even more familiar with the API, numbers and profits can only increase. We highlighted some of the most recognizable names you’ve probably seen floating around your friends’ Newsfeeds, but aside from these big name news sources, Facebook has partnered up with sixty different companies to bring even more diversified content to users’ Timelines.
Other companies Facebook has teamed with include Fab.com, Foodspotting, Ticketmaster, Rotten Tomatoes, and TripAdvisor. By trying to cover users’ interests in the big three categories of food, entertainment, and travel, Facebook is hoping to get users to stay on the site longer (which will generate the company more ad revenue). Of course, these shares and likes on these third-party apps will also benefit the companies, as we’ve seen from the traffic increase already reported on.
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