Facebook Open Graph Helped Foodspotting Grow

Developer & Design

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Facebook Open Graph has helped app developers implement Facebook features like Timeline into their apps. It also apparently drives up traffic in crazy numbers. Today's success story comes from Foodspotting, the number one app for finding delicious food around you.

If you have yet to use Foodspotting, I highly recommend it. I never knew there were so many good eats around me until I started using it. It sets itself apart from other similar services by focusing on individual dishes instead of the restaurant as a whole.

Foodspotting implemented Open Graph in January. The developers implemented a few key changes to the app that took advantage of what Open Graph does for apps. The first change had existing users of the app being encouraged to add Foodspotting to their Timeline.

Once users agree to have Foodspotting add food stories to their Timeline, the app populates Timeline with their pictures of food they have taken.

Pretty pictures and Open Graph integration alone aren't going to drive your app to success. The Foodspotting team used clever action verbs that drived interest in the app. Here are some examples:

Spot – Dish:
"Jeff Sherlock spotted a dish"
Love – Dish:
"Andy Katzman loved a dish"
Nom – Dish:
"Bryant Lee nommed a dish"
Try – Dish:
"Tiffany Chang Black tried a dish"
Want – Dish:
"Piyush Mangalick wanted a dish"

The same verbs are used in story aggregations. They immediately draw attention to the dish at hand and drive up usage.

Since the implementation of Open Graph in January, Foodspotting has seen four times the referrals and twice the number of monthly active users.

The moral of this story, like so many before it, is that Open Graph is awesome for your apps. As a developer, however, you can't just rely on Open Graph. You have to use innovative and unique hooks that complement Open Graph to drive traffic to your apps. Foodspotting has done this incredibly well and I'm sure other apps that will be featured in future editions of Developer Spotlight will have done the same.