Secrets of Creating a Viral Facebook application

Secrets of Creating a Viral Facebook application

  • 80,585 Facebook applications as of  2009-05-13
  • Top most active applications were Living Social, Rock You Live, and Movies
  • Importance of an architecture of social entertainment in social media marketing
  • Tips on application type, title, description, newsfeeds, icon, request/invitations, notification, email and spam

As of 13 May 2009, there were 80,585 applications constructed on Facebook, with hundreds being added each day. The 3 most active applications were Living Social, Rock You Live, and Movies respectively. These successfully viral applications on Facebook, all bore a common hallmark, which is they were built upon an architecture of social entertainment.

These figures are no surprise when over 95% of Facebook users have utilized at least one application. (A very timely email message just notified me that I just received a virtual gift from a friend on Facebook!)

Explore the potential of an application and the wonders it can do for your company. An application not only creates an element of fun and gets users involved with your brand, it’s also a great driver in generating traffic to your site. Best of all, it is achieves excellent cost efficiency with the results it can produce, costing barely the price of an advertisement.
Here are some tips to creating an awesome application that will hopefully plaster the walls of users who would readily adopt your application very soon!

  • Application Type

First and foremost, you’ll have to decide on the type of application that suits best: web or desktop depending on whether you want the user to download it or use it only on the web. Check out the existing applications on Facebook so you won’t end up with one similar to something already available. Make yours unique and stand out!

  • Application Title

An interesting title will stick in people’s minds when they talk about and recommend applications to their friends. Come up with one that is descriptive, memorable and sets your application apart. Some of my favorite application names include Superlatives, Bumper Sticker and Beer Mail.

  • Application Description

Just as important is the description of your application. Make use of a convincing copy that describes the highlights of your application to entice the user to add it.

  • Newsfeeds

Live News Feeds literally feed updates of other users on a member’s home page, and this is an excellent way to get people to notice your application. Designing your application to publish News Feeds can vastly increase the presence of your application. But mind you, the speed at which the News Feeds move nowadays is shocking, what with the buzz of activities on Facebook at any one time!

Choose only interesting and exciting events to broadcast, and not just everything. Decide on the title, body, and images of your News Feed and work around with the text and image limits to produce a front page worthy feed!

  • Application Icon

A 16 X 16 icon size on the application menu only allows for a simple one, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be memorable. Pick an image that users can identify you by.

With a more generous 64 X 64 icon specification for the product category, you have more space to create a graphic icon that best represents your application. Remember that an inviting visual is just as important in trying to attract users.

  • Requests/Invitations

A fun application users enjoy will have the ability to work its own magic when users invite their friends to use your application. This is an excellent way in which your application can gain popularity. However, users cannot send more than 20 requests or invitations per day for each application.

To avoid a bad rep or being labeled ‘annoying’, track the invitations sent out so that users will not receive multiple invitations one after another. (There are actually dedicated applications that, ironically, bemoan the use of applications, including one which can block application invitations.)

  • Notifications

Notifications, sent in response to application activity, is a way in which you can maintain a relationship with your users. This is another way you can entice new users to adopt your application; use action-oriented words that will encourage a response from other users to click on your application.

However, bear in mind that spam control is in place when sending notifications sent to non-users.

  • Emails

You can also send simple emails to your application’s users to encourage them to use your application more. Stay connected with your users by sending out an email every week, as well as on special events or dates.

  • Spam

Be careful about having spam jeopardize your efforts as if your application could be blocked from users if it generates spam. An excessive amount of notifications sent to non-application users would trigger the alarm and your application could face blockages and receive a warning.

  • User Statistics

All marketers should value the importance of user data and it’s no different here. Analyze your user stats to zoom in on a particular audience. You can filter them by information available like age, country, date they added or removed the application.

Besides these, the operations aspect should be looked at with your software developer too. Pay attention to things like application support email, contact email, terms of services, help page and so forth.

After you’ve constructed your application, you will need to garner five users or more before submitting it to Facebook for approval, after which it will show up in the application listing upon approval.

Extend your companies reach beyond a profile page and group on Facebook, and discover the wonders and fun of an application!


About Conversion Hub

Conversion Hub is a digital marketing agency based in Singapore. We provide digital marketing services using proprietary social, digital and analytics methodologies. We also provide website design services in Singapore. Our Ask-Alvin unit provides small business marketing solutions including press release distribution. For more information, visit