virality on facebook

0 to 1MM in 4 weeks

virality on facebook
0 to 1MM in 4 weeks 0 to 6MM in 9 weeks

alexander le siqi chen

why virality matters

numbers
6,000,000 pages / day 1,400,000 users 300,000 daily active 80,000 new users / day 2 people 10 days (part time) 2 months $0 marketing

why a platform?

how ideas spread

media

social

media distribution

print blogs banners television radio

media distribution expensive untargetted untrusted

social distribution referrals interactions recommendations invitations

social distribution cheaper faster trusted scalable

what enables social distribution?

the social graph
enables social distribution

facebook applications photos events groups

facebook photos
8.5MM photos per day (june 2006) more than next 3 sites combined less features than the other guys

why?

social graph > features

your friends and their photos

>
cool whiz bang feature x

facebook’s stated mission is to model the social graph in digital form as accurately and completely as possible.

the facebook platform exposes the social graph to everybody with an idea, enabling rapid social distribution of new applications.

facebook applications photos events groups your application here

choosing the idea is it social? is it engaging? is it universal?

is it social? so that it’s viral

is it engaging? so that it’s ... uh engaging. and monetizatable

is it universal? so that it has potential

special considerations
“If you want to get rich, make a porn site. If you want to get really rich, make something that helps people get laid in real life.” - Paraphrased from Paul Graham

new application friends for sale

friends for sale
it’s ... hot or not with a market economy ... a dating app without ‘dating’ ... kinda kinky

social
buy and sell your friends direct user to user interaction every touch point is a viral channel

engaging
virtual economy with a twist low pressure social interactions ... and flirting makes for a great, cynical dating app

universal
everybody is vain everybody has a price everybody wants to flirt with hot people

metrics for virality
for every new user how many new users do they convert? > 1.4 is exponential growth

virality in depth
for every new user, track ...
# of invites # of notifications # of minifeed items # of profile clicks # ... other channels

for every channel, ...

% clicked % converted % uninstalls

virality in depth
for every new user, track ...
# of invites # of notifications # of minifeed items # of profile clicks # ... other channels

for every channel, ...

% clicked % converted % uninstalls

scalability

scalability

scalability

“Don’t scale until you need to.”

“... unless you’re on Facebook.”

scaling is a requirement
0 - 1 million pages / day in 4 weeks ... is pretty slow on Facebook

Don’t be this guy:
“We need servers. Anything you can spare, and we need them NOW. We’ve doubled our servers and doubled again and Facebook just eats them up.” - Ali Partovi (iLike’s CEO)

scaling
memcached, memcached, MEMCACHED good hardware, well configured good host (Softlayer ROCKS) you NEED an awesome MySQL DBA

development
ruby on rails (in the top 5 largest installations on the internet, by page views) rfacebook (good for getting started, but had to write our own for maintainability and performance)

does rails scale?
dumb question, but I guess.

architectures scale, frameworks don’t
anything scales on the right architecture. focus on the architecture and operations.

the future
the platform is six months old. movement towards engaging, deep apps. the landscape is wide open. what did the web look like six months into it?

the end.

questions?

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