Guardian and Washington Post suffer dramatic decline as users desert Facebook apps

It was only a few months ago that frictionless sharing was being talked about as the future of social media. It followed Facebook’s launch in September of what it called a “new breed of apps” that displayed video, music and news alongside its new timeline profile feature.

While initial results from the likes of The Guardian, The Independent and The Washington Post were very positive, with millions signing up for these Facebook social apps, that trend has now gone into steep reverse indicating the problem of over-sharing.

People appeared to have reached saturation points suggesting that people can quickly tire of these always on apps.

At the end of last year the Guardian said its app had reached more than four million users and was generating almost a million extra page impressions per day. That figure had reached 5 million by January.

However, according to a post on Buzzfeed both the Guardian and The Washington Post, which also gained millions of users in a few short months, are losing that Facebook audience and losing it fast.

The Post is said to have added more than 17 million frictionless app users, but it has seen that number almost halve.

The news is no better for The Guardian, which recently spoke about “a seismic shift in our referral traffic” as for the first time in its history “Facebook drove more traffic to guardian.co.uk than Google for a number of days. Social traffic accounted for more than 30% of our referrer traffic”.

It said that the “dramatic result” came from a standing start five months ago — or when Facebook launched its new apps. It added that social traffic had since dipped below search, indicating that the change in attitudes to these social apps was starting to come through (the Guardian post was written seven weeks ago).

The data from Appdata.com says that the fall off at the Guardian has been just as severe as the Post:

Below you can see the Appdata chart detailing the numbers of users all of the leading Facebook apps are shedding.