Sometimes a big number is just... a big number
The new "love it or hate it" app out there, Facebook Home, has surpassed a pretty notable milestone in the Play Store today: 500,000 installs. That's half a million installs of an app that many said would appeal to a very small section of people -- those who are presumably "all in" with Facebook. But what does that 500,000 number even mean? Not that much, actually. Any time that someone clicks "install" on the Google Play store, it counts as an install. It doesn't matter if the user never actually launches the app, whether they set it as a default launcher or even whether it stays installed on their phone for more than 10 minutes.
It's kind of like a hamburger restaurant saying "10 million customers served". Well, sure they were served, but did they actually enjoy the food? Lots of users may be taking one bite out of Facebook Home and throwing it in the trash, and the Google Play numbers simply don't reflect that.
The real number we'd love to take a look at is active installs. How many people have installed Facebook Home, then continued to use it. Given the current ratings it is receiving in the play store -- an average of 2.2 out of 5 -- we have to guess that number is well below 500,000. And without that "active installs" number, we don't believe there's any comment to be made about the success of Home this early in the game.