Time for Jia Shen. He’s a good speaker with dense content delivered well. This should be fun.

Jia Shen of RockYou!

RockYou does many popular FB apps as well as widgets all around; more than 10% penetration in all leading social networks.

FB apps are growing ~7x faster than widgets elsewhere.

Concept and Design

Think mathematically

Gauge target audience: get specific. how big is it? [me: he touches on TAM/SAM/SOM without knowing it]

Model which viral channels you’ll be leaning into: invites? notifications?

Your app name is a viral channel: they add you, it’s in their minifeed, newsfeed, and on left nav.

Why and how will it spread? How will people share it and share within it? Design your callouts from there.

Invites: for each install:

  • User invites some people
  • Some pct open invite
  • Some pct who open invite install it
  • Some pct who install will uninstall

…must be bigger than 1, more like 2. Over time, this will make growth.

Validate the use case – typical users will use it?
Test call to action – will they click?
Validate viral model – any broken links?

Dev process should by hyper-agile with tons of instrumentation. Measure everything: invites, clickthrus, demos, minifeeds, etc.

Prepare for A/B testing. You’re releasing fast, so you want to be able to change things around radically and quickly.

Site stats (google analytics and quantcast again)


Phase it out there: make sure it’s totally working before you make your splash (1-5K users will give good infor for tuning) then go big.

Promote on ad networks for guranteed performance and hitting your target audience. Tune the ad as you see results.

Ad nets on FB: RockYou (of course), SocialMedia, et al


Validate the viral model: identify the total multipliers and look for weaknesses

Find new channels: how are users usint it? did you miss something? Integrate with other apps (viz. WereWolves, Vampires, Slayers, etc)

Tune your underlying channels: make sure your notifications aren’t spammy, that you’re targeting well, etc.

Monetizing it

Maintain comfortable growth and keep tuning, seeking more engagement. Encourage people to interact in your apps.

Engagement creates value for you to capture.

Some rehash of what I’ve heard from him before (no surprise) but some new stuff, and interesting to see his talk evolve.

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09 October 2007


facebook graphing.social social networks