Facebook takes internet virality to the next level

It happens via the newsfeeds.

This is from Marc Andreessen’s post on the Facebook API:

Facebook is providing a highly viral distribution engine
for applications that plug into its platform. As a user, you get
notified when your friends start using an application; you can then
start using that same application with one click. At which point, all
of your friends become aware that you have started using that
application, and the cycle continues. The result is that a successful
application on Facebook can grow to a million users or more within a
couple of weeks of creation.

Something most of us have seen before, but I hadn’t quite grokked the power of it.

For iLike (which isn’t even that great an application – IMHO) got to 3m users in around two weeks.

That is crazy – just think of all the hardware you need to handle that – by Andreessen’s estimate, hundreds of servers.  And you have to either have them ready before hand or run around like a mad man finding them once the popularity bites.

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  • Facebook is to micro-web apps what eBay is to micro-retailers. I expect to see lots of micro-web apps appear that could not exist outside of Facebook.

  • Facebook is to micro-web apps what eBay is to micro-retailers. I expect to see lots of micro-web apps appear that could not exist outside of Facebook.

  • Ilike has break the 6m users milestone.
    I agree about the website and further more about the recommendation engine. Take a look at this :
    http://blogs.sun.com/plamere/entry/what_is_wrong_with_ilike

  • Ilike has break the 6m users milestone.
    I agree about the website and further more about the recommendation engine. Take a look at this :
    http://blogs.sun.com/plamere/entry/what_is_wrong_with_ilike

  • rob

    How much of that additional capacity could be handled, at least in the short term, by an on-demand solution like Amazon S3, etc?

  • rob

    How much of that additional capacity could be handled, at least in the short term, by an on-demand solution like Amazon S3, etc?

  • I believe Facebook will crack the code for social recommendation search/advertising. Google search is so 1999.

  • I believe Facebook will crack the code for social recommendation search/advertising. Google search is so 1999.

  • nic

    Thanks for the comments guys.

    A couple of big analogies here! FB coming out somewhere between ebay and Google… Both arguments makes sense, I guess it a question of how far they go.

    Re the S3 point – that is the answer on everyone’s lips for the scalability problem. Andreessen makes the point that it can be expensive. I don’t really know.

    Raphael – good link – two thoughts – 1. this shows the power of distribution, and 2. I wonder if the 6m might come back down again almost as fast as it went up – and how many servers that would leave them with

  • nic

    Thanks for the comments guys.

    A couple of big analogies here! FB coming out somewhere between ebay and Google… Both arguments makes sense, I guess it a question of how far they go.

    Re the S3 point – that is the answer on everyone’s lips for the scalability problem. Andreessen makes the point that it can be expensive. I don’t really know.

    Raphael – good link – two thoughts – 1. this shows the power of distribution, and 2. I wonder if the 6m might come back down again almost as fast as it went up – and how many servers that would leave them with