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Has Facebook Hit the Saturation Point? App Sales Say Maybe

Whoa. It might be the Facebook is going to see the end soon when it comes to new users when it also hits that one billion mark. Currently, Facebook has over 900 million users, but… a change might be on the horizon.

According to a new report from Distimo, Facebook was the most popular iPhone app from June of 2010 until June of 2011. But in this last year, that changed Instagram is the new hero.

I guess we know why Facebook bought Instagram, eh?

Here’s what the report has to say (plus cool charts!).

The past two years showed a moderate trend towards other social networks that focus on one particular task, becoming more popular next to Facebook or even surpassing Facebook in terms of downloads. However, the analysis did not show any differences in download figures between apps, i.e., there was no measure how popular those apps were. Therefore, in July of this year, we performed a similar analysis with the actual download figures. In the chart below you will find the relative number of downloads in ten major countries benchmarked with Facebook. Facebook is used as an index and all social network applications discussed in this publications that generated more downloads in July 2012 are plotted in the graph.

Interesting. Now, TechCrunch points out some fallacies in their data:

Before getting into these results (and I’m putting this at the top because it’s critical to understand the below data):

  • Downloads, which is what Distimo is using to measure popularity, do not equate to users.
  • Distimo is looking at mobile apps, and specifically iPhone apps, not the networks’ overall user base and reach.
  • Facebook’s app has been around for several years, so adoption is already high. Users don’t need to continue to download an app they already own and use.
  • Distimo did not look at every country worldwide for this report.

So take it with a grain of salt. But here are a few images from the report.

Facebook dominance from 2010-2011

 

Popularity of Instagram

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