The team behind Wakoopa, a social network that tracks and shares information about the desktop applications used by its members, noticed that Firefox and Safari were consistently ranked as the network’s top two applications by usage. So they took this as a cue to start measuring web apps in addition to desktop apps, since their data confirm (at least among the developer types drawn to its service) what we already know anecdotally: that web apps are slowly replacing desktop apps.
Starting today, sites like Flickr will be listed as software programs alongside traditional desktop apps like Photoshop. And if you check out a user’s profile page, such as co-founder Robert Gaal’s, you’ll see sites like Scribd and Gmail ranked alongside Adium and iTunes.
Wakoopa faces a bit of a challenge when it comes to defining, and then identifying, web apps. Virtually all websites could be considered web apps, but the line has to be drawn somewhere for practical purposes (Picnik is undoubtedly a web app but your cousin’s GeoCities page clearly is not). Wakoopa has decided to leverage our very own CrunchBase API to make the distinction, since most of the sites in CrunchBase meet the relevant criteria.
How important is this new functionality to Wakoopa’s success? It may turn out to be one of the most important product decisions the company makes. Gaal himself says that he “wouldn’t be surprised if [they] end up only tracking online software in the future.”