It’s no lie that Facebook’s popular. With over 500 million users worldwide, it’s clear that if you want a platform that has more users than anywhere else online, Facebook is the place to start. With bindings for most common programming languages, the API has proven to be extremely popular with developers as it’s more usable than ever.
550,000 apps have been built using the Facebook API so I think it’s time for a definitive list of the top 10 apps of all time. You can find more information about the apps I’ve chosen after the fold.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last three years, you’ll surely have heard of FarmVille. With over 16 million average daily users, it’s hard to ignore the app that took Facebook by storm. If you’ve never heard of it, FarmVille’s an application where you can create and manage your own virtual farm. Buying animals and regularly growing and tending to crops is daily routine for those addicted to FarmVille and once you’ve gathered enough money, you can spend it on farm extensions and other big items that allow you to make your farm that extra little bit more personal.
There’s always competition with your friends thanks to the levels and experience that can be gained and overall, it’s a great example of a good use of the Facebook API. With a team of skilled designers and new items regularly added for purchase, FarmVille is just another example of the benefits that can be brought by creating a platform for developers.
Everyone loves playing games. It’s a known fact. With MindJolt, you have access to hundreds of games right from the comfort of your Facebook homepage. With each game, there’s generally the ability to add highscores and with this, you can easily compete against your friends and prove once and for all who’s the best at that game. These scores can be filtered by time frame so you can see who managed to get the highest score out of you and your friends in the past week, month or all time.
The main selling point of this app is the sheer number and variety of games available. There’s something for everyone and with the added convenience of not being a dedicated website, it’s even more easier to access when you’re looking to distract yourself away from work. Although it is packed with ads, the interface is quite easy to navigate and find the right game you’re after.
Developed by the same people behind some of the other big Facebook games like FarmVille and Cafe World, Mafia Wars is another take on an RPG. With a storyline based around mafias consisting of you and your friends, the plot revolves around doing all you can to work your way up the ladder to more money and a massive criminal empire. The name says pretty much everything.
With timers galore, it’s a race around the clock to play this game which may provide reasoning as to why so many are addicted to it. The graphics are fairly good and they’ve even got an iPhone app but this game probably isn’t for everyone. The interface is quite confusing and takes a while to grasp but overall, it’s worth it. Though it contains many faults, it’s still a great app and for those who love Zynga games, it’s definitely one to add to the collection!
In this list, there are loads of products by Zynga – the main reason being that they’ve really taken Facebook by storm. Café World is personally my favourite one of their apps. You are a restaurant owner and your job is to create the best restaurant by regularly purchasing and preparing food, after which you can employ your friends as waiters and waitresses and its their job to take the food you’ve lovingly prepared to your customers. Limits placed on things like the amount of stoves and counters you can have are lifted as you level up and you can purchase really big expansions to your café so that you can fit more customers in.
One of the main reasons this game has caught on is because it is one of the most well-developed and is one of the easiest to use. There are regular updates to the available menu and seasonal options are added. Overall, this app is definitely one to try – even if you’ve never tried this sort of thing.
Even in the world we live in nowadays, there are still people striving to do good. Hopefully, you’re one of them. With the Causes app, it’s now even more possible to do your bit for causes that you feel passionately about. Whether it’s a cause you’ve started yourself or one that a friend has made, it’s a great and truly inspiring way for people to do something good. The app is a great way to unite with your Facebook friends to share your support for worthwhile causes.
Causes is one of the most truly innovative uses of the Facebook application platform and it’s clear that a lot of thought and intent has gone into creating the app and I believe it all pays off. With different ways to help like completing activities to earn money for a charity you support, it’s a small step for people to do something different and is one of the most genuinely useful apps available.
There’s a reason games like The Sims have a great reception; people love virtual worlds. With YoVille, this is no different. You can create a virtual version of yourself and have that life that you always wanted but never quite worked out. You can do jobs to earn more money and then use that to purchase virtual goods for your character or environment. Though at times it does feel like a mashup of Zynga’s other apps, it does still retain a lot of individuality – the main being that it doesn’t employ a particular theme so anyone can really enjoy it.
One of the great features of YoVille is the level of customisation. You can change the appearance of your character to suit yourself as well as your homes. Personally, I don’t think that YoVille is as good as some of Zynga’s other apps like FarmVille but it’s still great enough to make it into the list.
Content is the main reason most people visit Facebook. Every day, 250 million people log onto the world’s most popular social network to find out what’s on their friends’ minds and to share their own current feelings. With RockYou Live, there’s a complete new way to find content and share it with your friends on Facebook. It takes major elements of what people love to browse online and brings them into a single hub where sharing is easier than ever.
Some of the content available on the platform consists of games, videos and graffiti (drawings). The games section is packed with Flash games and a highscore system to compete with friends and other people using RockYou Live, while the video section allows some of the best content from video sites like YouTube to be syndicated to your feed based on the reactions and recommendations of others. Overall, the platform has serious potential to be a great way to share more specific types of content and although it’s fairly popular, it could be more so if it branched out to other types of content too.
Though this isn’t technically an app on Facebook itself, it’s certainly worth being up there in the list because it’s one of the best uses of Facebook’s API I’ve come across so far. Spotify is a desktop application that allows you to listen to high quality streaming of almost any song with near instant playing. With one of the most recent releases of the software came a feature called Spotify Social where users can integrate their Spotify accounts with their Facebook ones to allow them to easily share their favourite tunes with their friends on Facebook.
Inside the app, it’s possible to send content to Facebook in a couple of clicks and from the main Spotify screen, all content posted by friends is clearly visible and can be played instantly. Playlists can be shared between friends and with the handy sidebar, it’s easy to view your friends’ public playlists and indulge in their musical tastes. Thanks to Facebook, Spotify has now become one of the best social music applications out there and will surely improve as Facebook grows.
With a subtle nod to the revolutionary fantasy series by JK Rowling, School of Wizardry is another text-based role-playing game – similar to Mafia Wars in many respects. Along with a headmaster who bears a striking resemblance to Rolf Harris, the game is quite quirky and imaginative but not in a clichéd way. The objective is to level up and to earn as much gold as possible to purchase in-game items that can benefit the player as the game progresses.
The game is well-designed and is quite easy to navigate compared to the others; though it can be quite confusing at first glance – especially if you’ve never really played this type of game before. Though the app does tend to be yet another RPG app with the added ability of being social, it adds its own uniqueness to the game and is the only real fantasy-style one I’ve come across that really works.
Social Interview is a fun way to find out things about your friends you may never have known otherwise. The app generates a series of questions that are based around a randomly selected group of friends and prompts you to answer them and then post them to their wall. Of course, the same can be done back and you can find the answers to some of your friends questions about you.
Complete with a really attractive iTunes-style Flash interface and an accompanying iPhone app, Social Interview is really easy to use and is just a generally fun way to socialise with your friends through Facebook. It’s used by over 10 million people each month to answer questions about friends that they may never have already known and is one of the quirky little apps that has a great public appeal.
Facebook’s come a long way in the past four years since its public release but it must also be noted that so have the developers who have created these brilliant apps. Facebook’s API has proven to be a great way for 3rd party developers to get their work noticed and out there, but also to build upon an existing framework and standards set by Facebook.
Of course, we all have our different preferences and what entertains some may not capture the interests of others, but there are some apps that stand out as general all-rounders that people of almost any age can enjoy.
If your favourite app isn’t on the list, why not leave a comment and tell us what it is and what makes it stand out?