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Epiphany Search

We have all witnessed the meteoric rise of sites like eBay, Twitter, Facebook etc. but what is the secret of their rapid growth? Obviously the products themselves are great and there is no getting away from the fact that if any online business is going to succeed it has to have a solid business model but all other things being equal, what makes the difference between good growth and viral growth? In order to try and find the common threads of viral success I've compiled a list of well known businesses / sites and then from my knowledge listed every feature they implemented in order to generate viral growth. I've then listed the advantage and benefit of each feature as I see it. From this data there are plenty of conclusions I could draw but I thought it would be great if everyone could add their own knowledge of these sites in the comments field and I will then create a final resource from which I hope to draw some great insights and also hear yours.

We have all witnessed the meteoric rise of sites like eBay, Twitter, Facebook etc. but what is the secret of their rapid growth? Obviously the products themselves are great and there is no getting away from the fact that if any online business is going to succeed it has to have a solid business model but all other things being equal, what makes the difference between good growth and viral growth? In order to try and find the common threads of viral success I've compiled a list of well known businesses / sites and then from my knowledge listed every feature they implemented in order to generate viral growth. I've then listed the advantage and benefit of each feature as I see it. From this data there are plenty of conclusions I could draw but I thought it would be great if everyone could add their own knowledge of these sites in the comments field and I will then create a final resource from which I hope to draw some great insights and also hear yours.

 

Feature > Advantage > Benefit YouTube - Embedding of Videos > Quickly Put Video On Any Site > Saved Hosting Costs Let Any Old Content Upload > Very Open Service > Lots of People Joined MySpace Users Used It > Embedded Video On Another Site > Enriched Another Service Twitter - Followers and Self Promotion > Free Marketing > Grew Users/Content Fast Leveraged Mobile Boom > Made Service Easy To Access > People Use Anywhere Facebook - Created Profiles of People > Forced People to Participate > Accelerated Growth Invite Mechanism > Encouraged Sign Ups > Viral Catalyst Bought Mailing Lists > Raised Awareness > Grew User Base Digg - Leader Board of Power Users > Stroked Users Ego/Self Worth > Grew Content Fast Invite Only Key Bloggers > Raised Key Blogger Awareness > Grew Buzz, Sign Ups Doubled Email Bloggers > Raised Key Blogger Awareness > Grew Buzz Demo To Influencers > Raised Influencer Awareness > Grew Buzz Tweet To Complete Sign Up > Raised Awareness To Followers > Drove Sign Ups Sign Up Pop Up on Visit > Encourages SIgn Ups > Drove Sign Ups PayPal - Sign Up Incentive > People Got $10 Free > Generated Lots of Sign Ups Referral Incentive > People Got $10 Per Referral > Generated Lots of Sign Ups Leveraged Ebay Platform > Great Service To Community > Leveraged Existing Community Myspace - Huge Email Blast > Raised Awareness > Grew User Base Vertical Focus > Build Loyal User Base > Word Spreads Faster Banner Ads > Raised Awareness > Grew User Base Courted High Profile Users > Raised Perceived Value of Service > More People Joined Created Brand Profiles > Business Could Self-Promote > Recognised Brands Join Site Quora- Share Q's on Social Networks > Raised Awareness > Grew User Base Auto Following Facebook Contacts > Connected Friends on System > Strengthened Community AspectUniversal Login/Facebook Connect > Easier Sign Up > Grew USer Base, Linked Accounts Invite Only at Start > Raised Key Blogger Awareness > Grew Buzz and Perceived Value Yahoo Answers!- Leader Board and Points System > Created Competition > Built Loyal Community I look forward to your comments and getting this all boiled down to a success algorithm! Oooh, that's going in my next sales pitch ;)