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Expanding Your Application’s User Base

July 12, 2010ByHuan Yang

Facebook is growing rapidly in countries like Japan, Korea, Russia, Brazil, India, Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands. And as more users adopt Facebook, your applications have the opportunity to gain exposure and reach in these markets. Here are a few suggestions to help you continue to grow your user base around the world.

First, we recommend localizing your applications for the countries mentioned above, where we are experiencing a particularly high rate of user growth. For your existing applications, localization can involve translating them to more languages to make them accessible to more users. Also, when you publish to a user’s stream, try customizing the post to the user’s language and country to optimize for each user group. For example, publishing special updates on country holidays, as well as country-specific graphics/gifts can help target user segments. Another suggestion is to think about localization when developing new applications. Consider how you might design a unique application built for the lifestyles and cultural norms of the countries you are targeting.

Developers who use custom tabs can leverage our new fb_sig_country request header to display different content based on a user’s locale. For example, if your application uses a custom tab to show the latest World Cup standings, you can use fb_sig_country to present highlights for a user’s country. (Note: if you use fb_sig_country, you must also handle the case where the field is blank, because you might not have content for every country in the world.)

We also recommend taking advantage of the new contact importer feature we enabled for the multi-friend-selector, condensed multi-friend-selector, multi-friend-input, and friend-selector. This new feature allows users to easily import their email contacts when sending out invites, requests, or gifts from your application. When users register for Facebook through these email invitations, they will see your application bookmarked on the left navigation menu.

Applications with this feature enabled have seen increased new user growth. In these specific countries, we’ve noted particularly high conversion rates for email invites. Take advantage of this period of time to reach new users.

In the next few months, as Facebook adoption continues to increase in Japan, Korea, Russia, Brazil, India, Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands, we recommend both localizing your applications and implementing the new friend-selector tags that enable the contact importer feature. These improvements can help make your application competitive in emerging growth markets.

Huan Yang, an engineer on the Growth team, is excited to see applications grow around the world.