FarmVille ousted as top Facebook application, Zynga under 200 million players

Honestly folks, I never thought this day would come, but thanks to a massive push by the Phrases application on Facebook (it has apparently gained 1.8 million players in just the last week), FarmVille has been ousted as the number one application on Facebook.

To be clear, FarmVille is still the number one game, and by a long margin too, beating its closest competitor, Texas HoldEm Poker, by 18 million players. However, according to AppData's latest figures, Phrases now beats FarmVille 54 million to 53 million players. A margin of only 1 million players may be nothing to become too alarmed about, but when FarmVille held down 80 million players earlier this year, it is at least something to take note of.

Additionally, Zynga, while still the number one app developer, has dropped below the 200 million player mark, in terms of monthly active users over all games. Zynga still holds a very comfortable lead over the new number two developer, Phrases, as they can claim 198 million monthly active players, but it is interesting to see how things have changed for Zynga over time.

Most of this seems to be due to FarmVille itself, which has lost 5 million players over the past month. FrontierVille too is on the decline, having lost more than 2 million players in the same time period.

Could this be why Zynga has decided to finally push full steam ahead with CityVille - an effort to bring back those players that they've lost, or even gain new players entirely? It's not a bad tactic either way, and we'll be sure to let you know if it works.

For now, though, let us know your thoughts on these developments. What could Zynga do, in your eyes, to make players stop leaving their games? Have you quit playing any Zynga title? Why do you do so? Sound off in the comments.