Internet ratings site Quantcast has provided more evidence of what it calls the ‘Facebook effect’, with stats showing that Facebook widgets are helping to boost traffic to sites that have produced widgets for the social network.

Quantcast reports (via VentureBeat) that some widget producers’ sites have seen dramatic increases in traffic for three of the most popular widgets on Facebook, HotorNot, Slide and RockYou.

As the graph below shows, all three sites have seen a sharp increase in traffic since Facebook’s open platform launched in May.

  • In the this period Slide has seen its global reach triple, while daily global unique visitors have grown from 753,000 to more than 2.3m, an increase of 207%.
  • HotorNot has doubled its global reach, boosting daily traffic by 152%, from 289,000 to more than 722,000.
  • RockYou has also tripled its reach, and daily visitor numbers have risen by 339%, from 286,000 to more than 1.3m.

The opportunity to tap into Facebook’s audience of 30m users through widgets has created a landgrab by online marketers and developers.

US VC firm Bay Partners recently launched a programme to fund widget developers, while PayPal has just announced a competition for Facebook widgets.

The online payments service is asking for developers to create a Facebook application that uses PayPal, with a $10,000 prize for the winner.

Further reading:

Widgets driving traffic to photo websites