Friday, October 26, 2007

Designing for Virality and Retention from SNAP Summit

Blogging live from SNAP Summit 2007. Similar panel to the Viral Strategy - News Feed Optimization(NFO) from Social Graphic Pattern

  • Moderator: Susan Wu, Partner, Charles River Ventures
  • Keith Schacht; Developer, Grow-a-Gift
  • Dave McClure, Master of 500 Hats
  • Jia Shen; CEO, RockYou, have 26M users 50% of total Facebook users among 26 Apps.
  • Mark Kantor; Developer, Graffiti
Good set of smart guys know Facebook Virality, Jia keeps going to mathematical analysis, lot of quick discussion, I am not doing justice capturing all of them

Define Virality from each member of the panel:

  • Keith - Conversion from each install, for each user who installs how many new users do they convert.
  • People who are referring, rate of conversion of people invited
  • Jia - Mathematical equation - how many people using it
  • Two types of virality - personal reason to invite friends, other is wanting to showoff to friends, most apps are the latter.
Viral Channels

  • Jia - On Myspace, Inprofile virality concept of self-expression, bulletins (equiv of scripting invite friends), In facebook, there are 14 viral channels.
  • Earlier it was just sending an message to join. Now its grown with not showing a friend's message in an invite.
  • Keith - Diff between Viral and Stickyness: Look at the stats of App, the one with new users and returning users is more sticky.

Dave McClure - Two types of virality

1. Active - Invite, Notification, Request, wave effect initially
2. Passive referrals - people looking at profile, mini feed activity. eg is Fluff friends App. Currently App messages are not visible for people who haven't installed App, if facebook adds this it can increase virality more.

Use A-B Testing on messaging.

Jia Shen - All facebook built in 2 stages, first to test out the concept and initial viral acceptance, then focus on engagement.
Lot of developers now focusing on engagement which helps with virality better.
Draw out diff kind of channels for your App and track on per install viral channel for each.

Keith Schacht: Developer, Grow-a-Gift

  • Track all granular details number of users, track forst 10-20 clicks as soon as user enters an App, right from start.
  • Grow-a-Gift was viral, we were lucky. Found 20% of invites converted to installs, 10% of feed converted to install so tweaked to make it better.
  • Hatching Egg, now added Dog Egg
  • Facebook promised to clear out all notification.

Best practices

  • - Value of a facebook user is more than a web site user.
  • - Photflexer (I am hearing their name 3rd time this year) is an example which can do more by challenges and games to engage groups of friends.
  • - Dave - Startup metrics for pirates from Ignite talk applies to facebook too.
  • In feeds - create messages based on app action, you can include upto 4, use a button like graphic mimic the psycology of facebook Apps, RockYou and Slide do it well.
  • - Using FBNames in actual message itself - the ability to refer a person in the message will work.
  • - Show interaction of two friends by name, can be seen by networks of both friends. Show list of multiple friends grouped together in a message, so more people can see it.
  • - Keep invitation as part of the meaning of the App, thats long term whats most important.
  • Design for user interaction binary or multi-person interaction.

Variability and Conversion Rates:
  • New invite system from last thurs, users has to enter user names so facebook has riased the bar that user has to be more passionate about the App to send invites to friends.
  • If you send an invite you are restricted to 20, show selection that has higher conversion rate eg people in relationship accept invites more, we got 30% conversion.

  • Measure conversions daily or hourly, conflicting discussion the value. Jia thinks too much of these stats do not matter from a monetization stand point.
  • Dave's suggestion to study engagement in 30 days similar to Ad industry.
  • Analytics - Google Analytics is good, use simple SQL statements , track dots in images, grouping by min or 5 min. Google Analytics can log events for Rich Media not just pageviews
  • Jia - Its totally possible to do Multi-variant analysis like invites, how many wall posts etc.


Top 5 viral channels:
Invite, minifeed, application name word phrase should be self-descriptive one word, profile action, default profile action (when u browse other people's action that shows there)

How many Developers - Customer acquired /developer :
  • 4-5 full-time, 3 of them developers, 20Mil Facebook users
  • Jia - RockYou 20 people, 4-5 business people, 5-6 developers
  • Dave about Stanford class 25 teams of 3, one developer
  • Keith 3 full time, 3 part-tim1. 1.5 people doing development, 6Mil users.
  • Users get excited about App, one person should be devoted to an App on the creative side.

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