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Mar 6, 2008

Facebook viral marketing

Facebook viral marketing: When and why do apps "jump the shark?", by Andrew Chen

Modeling user acquisition

First off, let's look at some ways to model user acquisition. You first start with a couple constants:

  • Invite conversion rate % = 10%
  • Average invites per person = 8.00
  • Initial user base = 10,000
  • Carrying capacity = 100,000
    (note that these are just example numbers)
Ed: Well written article, but the hypothesis may not reflect social realities.
  • Thousands of Facebook members have endorsed termination of widgets that force more friends to install. This push strategy is socially out of date.
  • Social applications win by pull. As each friend installs, their friends discover the application and installs. Thus, as recommended by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, developers should focus on great products, not viral marketing.
  • Bloggers win via persistent pull. As you write each post that expands the relevancy of your content, more readers install your feed - spreading the word to their friends.

With an application or blog, the result should not be modeled as a one time event producing a return curve. It comes from incremental improvements to the application and content - producing long term growth.

Social networks provide only the tools for potential viral growth.

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