It is a great time to be an app developer. While the national unemployment rate is at 9.1 percent, the Facebook App Economy is thriving and growing.
A recent study by the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business found that the Facebook App Economy has added at least 182,000 new jobs and contributed more than $12.9 billion in wages and benefits to the U.S. economy this year. This is especially impressive considering that Facebook itself employs only about 2,000 people.
Currently, Facebook’s 740 million users install 20 million apps per day.
Last week at F8, the Facebook Developer Conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a redesign of the social networking platform, including a whole new class of apps. The next version of the Open Graph will allow users to add “arbitrary actions and objects created by 3rd party apps, enabling these apps to integrate deeply into the Facebook experience,” says Facebook.
The Open Graph will forever change the Facebook app industry. Apps will no longer have to ask permission to post activities to Facebook. Instead, users will consent to app updates only once via an initial permissions page. Users can share listening, viewing, reading and “doing” activities through the new Open Graph. All updates are posted to the ticker, with important events appearing in the News Feed. The new, integrated social apps include offerings by media brands from Netflix to Hulu to Spotify.
If close to 200,000 jobs were created by the app economy last year, we can expect that many more jobs will result from the innovation of the new Facebook social apps.
Open Graph is currently in beta, but you can view the beta documentation here.