Saturday, July 14, 2007

Viral Play by Jason Feffer founder of Myspace

Jason Feffer co-founder of Myspace is speaking at Community Next conf at Sunnyvale about Viral Marketing history.

Viral at Myspace started 4 yrs ago internally with 4 employees to 180 employees today.
Happy users tell 3 friends, unhappy or critcal ones tell 11.
UI was one that attracted users. Focus was to give tools starting with emails, their own URLs etc.
We got bad press bringing unwanted attraction because of the controversy about predators on Myspace. Fef says they worked very hard to clean these up, but it attracted media with controversial stories about underage kids on Myspace, and how schools and parents very concerned. Myspace had to deal with it and it got *lot* of users.

What they did purposefully:
1. Recognized Myspace users were people who like to be exhibitionists, so focused to give them tools to tell their friends about themselves, not to tell about Myspace.
1 Exhibitionist brought 5000 users easily when it worked.Picked up when bands started using Myspace to market their band.

2. Don't lose control of your brand to others. Myspace turned down free promoter options to use Myspace brand and create parties.

3. Messaging focused on entertainment, not technology. So focused on right press. Stayed in LA just for that.

4. How they handled Fake profiles - restricts on terms of service, but if users brought real content good for the community, it was fine. If P&G came and created fake profiles, we'll work with them to make their profiles as real branded.

5. Niche Targeted Marketing - How did they focus in the beginning? Initial target was 10M users for Ad revenues but Jason thought 8M users seemed too much. In the beginning you don't need too many hard core users, because they will bring many many of their friends and scale. Focus on being vertical focused and help that base of users spread the world.

Jason's new startup is Sodahead, - check it out, he is in early stage consciously applying all his learning from Myspace.

Jason's advice is on focus on target suers, focus on everything around that. Lending Club used Facebool API only to launch its beta. Today there are a lot of widgets, use it.

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