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Early Success Stories: Timeline Apps and Open Graph

February 15, 2012ByVladimir Fedorov

There should be an app for everyone on Facebook, and people are quickly starting to use the apps you build to experience all of the things they love – shopping, reading books, eating and traveling – with their friends.

A few weeks ago, more than 60 new timeline apps went live. These apps - many in the lifestyle category - broadened what was available to people on Facebook beyond the music, news and video apps that were introduced at f8 in September.

Music apps like Spotify, Songza and Deezer are seeing dramatic increases in sharing and music discovery. People have shared more than 5 billion songs through these apps, and their availability has increased from eight to 50 countries.

We’re now seeing new content discovery and increases in traffic and engagement happening more broadly for companies of all sizes. For large companies, they've been able to scale and re-introduce their products to new audiences. For startups with small teams and a small user-base, open graph has driven a lot of discovery and growth, allowing many companies to double the size of their user base in weeks. Here are a few examples from startups:

Shopping and Fashion

  • Pinterest: Since launching their open graph integration less than a month ago, the number of Facebook users visiting Pinterest every day has increased by more than 60%. The virtual pinboard site has made it fun and easy to share the items you’ve pinned and follow the boards of people you find interesting.

  • Pose: The fashion trend and style discovery app has seen a 5X increase in daily web signups for their website and mobile app by helping people share the different products they like with their friends.

  • The design shopping site and mobile app has seen a 50% increase in traffic from Facebook as a result of their social shopping timeline app and live feed implementation.


  • Artfinder: The art discovery and collector site has seen a 60% increase in time spent on the site by new visitors from Facebook by giving people a way to share art with friends.

  • Rockmelt: Rockmelt users are adding 14 new articles every day through the social browser, driving 20% new traffic and new users to the site.


  • Foodspotting: The food finding and sharing app has seen a 3X increase in number of visits and activities shared by helping people share the dishes they want, try and ate with friends on Facebook

  • Foodily: The foodie and recipe site has seen a 4X increase in new users by allowing people to share what they crave and are cooking.

These apps have a few things in common. They’re built around something people care about and identify with, they enable people to share things they want their friends to see, and they provide easy ways to control the social experience.

For example, Pinterest makes it easy for people to pin and share items (Figure 1). Pinning an item is simple and has a clear call to action to enter a message (Figure 2). People can also easily control when items are added to timeline (Figure 3). This sort of integrated experience not only helps to generate meaningful content, but also deepens engagement.

For these apps, every person can share their activities with their friends on Facebook, starting a loop that drives discovery for new users and re-engagement for existing users. For more information on how to do this, please see our guide.

For additional details, please see our checklist and best practices.

We have approved hundreds of new actions since opening up the platform and are continuing to review your submissions. In the past weeks, apps like Vogue Paris, Votizen, Identified, Boxee, MetaCafe and Shopkick have all introduced new open graph integrations.

To get started, check out our tutorial.