Four Viral Loop Drivers [updated]

I was noodling about different categories of viral loops and started making a list…

Viral Loops typically center on:

  1. Contact Lists — e.g., inviting new people thru the process of finding/adding new contacts to a contact list
  2. Conversations — e.g., inviting new people by adding them to chats, events, groups, etc.
  3. Media — e.g., inviting new people by sharing media/content with them
  4. Incentives — e.g., inviting new people to unlock functional or financial incentives

Any others that you can think of?

The Four Viral App Objectives (a.k.a., “Social network application virality 101”)

A lot of folks have asked for more details on the way we measured and optimized viral app growth in the Stanford class I co-taught recently. So here’s a bit more info on methodology for measuring virality and what it means for an app to “go viral.”

K-factor and R-zero

Terms like “K-factor” (contagion) and “R-zero” (reproduction rate) are often used to describe the growth rate of viral apps. These terms come from the fields of medicine and biology — they’re originally intended to describe the spread of of viral diseases, but they’re nice analogies for how web/SN apps grow. Some would even describe widgets and apps as “diseases” that have “corrupted” popular social networks like MySpace and Facebook! 😉 Of course, having worked at Slide and authored some FB apps of my own, that’s clearly not my belief… So, read on if you’re interested in viral apps!

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