Polls: http://apps.facebook.com/pollposition and total users: 7326 (currently 43% active)
Hi there! We are building the polls app, and we’d like to share some of our experiences building an app. First off, who we are:
* Dave Koslow. Dave is the CS department course advisor and has worked at Google and Palm in the past. Historically a jack-of-all-trades type, he’s recently been looking to dip into frontend development on webapps because they can be oh-so-crazy-delicious. He knows basically everything about tea.
* Jennifer Gee. Jen is into user interaction design and spent the past summer incubating a startup with friends in Singapore. She also worked in Google’s Manhattan office and is now working part-time at RockYou.
* Jason Prado. Jason believes in the power of webapps to save the world. In the past Jason has worked at meebo, inc. and some unnamed startup, and soon he’ll be working on Silverlight. Jason thinks he gives up on social networks.
So far we are only focusing on our first app, Polls. It has been growing linearly thus far, but we’re looking to get it to start moving virally soon. We had 1100 installs and about 10% daily active users up until we started advertising on RockYou’s ad network; since then we’ve hit 6,000 users in 2.5 days. RockYou has been a huge help to us, offering hosting, advertising, and lots of guidance.
The biggest thing we’ve learned is that for something to really go viral it has to be dirt simple; users want instant gratification from an install. This makes it difficult to build an application that provides value; it is obvious that value requires effort. We are experimenting with ways of getting users to install polls on their profiles, and the key is to make the interaction utterly simple. Our ready-to-go polls and our soon-to-be-released new results page should help this a lot. We’re convinced that Polls is useful and simple as it is, but to see wide adoption we’re just going to have to make it easier for most people to install the app.