Guardian Facebook app - usage figures and a chance to go “behind the scenes”

Martin Belam by Martin Belam, 30 November 2011

Today the Guardian announced some usage figures for our Facebook app, which I worked on. In early December there will be a chance to come to the Guardian’s offices to hear a little bit about how we designed and built it. So far:

  • It has been installed over 4 million times in the space of two months
  • It generates almost a million extra page impressions per day
  • Over half (56.7%) of the app’s users are 24 and under, and 16.7% are 17 and under.

Talking about the figures, GMG’s CEO Andrew Miller said:

“As well as increasing traffic, the app is making our journalism visible to new audiences. Over half of the app's users are 24 and under - traditionally a very hard-to-reach demographic for news organisations. The Facebook app is one of a number of successful launches by the Guardian in recent months as our digital-first strategy gains momentum. We're delighted with the results.”

As user testing showed before we launched, the app has been a “love it”/“hate it” proposition. It is completely opt-in - you simply press “cancel” to go through to the website as usual when presented with the invitation to install it. Our FAQ also explains how to change your sharing settings, and hide the activity in the app from your Facebook altogether.

There have also been interesting numbers released around some of the other apps using Open Graph features, like those from the Washington Post and Independent, and you can find coverage on journalism.co.uk, TechRadar, TheNextWeb and Brand Republic. Jeff Sonderman at Poynter has already come up with “6 lessons from new Facebook stats on social news sharing”.

You can find out a bit more about how we designed it at Guardian UXmas on December 13th. We’ve got a very limited number of places to come to the office to see some talks from the Guardian's UX and design team about our iPad app, Facebook, and the work of our digital agency. There will be mince pies and mulled wine, and, in a festive advent calendar style, the free tickets will be available from Eventbrite, scattered throughout the twelve days of UXmas.

And if you aren’t lucky enough to secure a ticket, you will still be welcome to join us in the Kings Place Rotunda bar from 7pm to continue chatting UX and design.

Guardian Facebook app wireframe for an article view
Guardian Facebook app wireframe for a trailblock with social features

Early wireframes from the Guardian Facebook app project

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