Team Killa Bzz has launched 4 applications so far this quarter: Social Buzz, Thank You, Hug it out, and LoveChild. Each application is very distinct and attempts to utilize different viral factors and user behaviors. Here are brief descriptions of our applications and our experiences in building them.
Social Buzz is an application made to help people explore the expertise of their friends. We have often found that we have learned the most not from our classes but from our friends. Given this we believe Social Buzz has a lot of potential as an educational app. Social Buzz allows you to “buzz” or send interesting stories, links, and tidbits of information to your friends. Your friends can then give you feedback on buzz that they receive, and you receive credibility points if they like what you sent them. Through this feedback system, Social Buzz encourages people to showcase their expertise on a specific topic or set of topics by providing interesting and relevant content. Social Buzz can then be a way for people to discover new content from trusted and compelling sources - their friends.
Launched on October 22nd, Social Buzz has not seen the phenomenal growth of some other apps, with about 700 users. However, Social Buzz does have great engagement numbers with large numbers of repeat visitors and an average time on site of over 6 minutes.
Thank You. After not reaching the broad distribution numbers we had hoped for with Social Buzz, we launched two new apps on November 18th hoping to use lessons learned from the class and other groups. Thank You is an application where people can send thank you notes to their friends. We thought this application would have broad appeal (an action you could apply to almost all your friends) and could take advantage of the holiday season, with Thanksgiving only a few days away. After launching the application we saw great growth numbers with over 2000 users in 5 days. Today it is still growing steadily as we continue to tweak the application, with over 12,000 installs.
One big lesson we have learned from Thank You, though, has come from our troubles at the whim of Facebook. Thank You is today blocked as a spam application. In the course of seeking a solution to this, we found this to be the number one issue for many developers. The problem stems from the UI that a user faces when they want to dismiss a notification. Instead of being able to simply ignore the notification, they are only given the option to “report as spam” or “cancel.” This has limited our growth severely, as a not so subtle reminder that we are playing on Facebook’s turf.
Hug it out! is a an application based on the hit TV series, Entourage. The primary viral tuner we wanted to test with Hug it out! was a profile data scrapper. Hug it out includes a profile scrapper which suggests friends that would most likely be interested in the application. Hug it out was launched simultaneously with Thank You, and has seen steady growth with about 4500 current users.
LoveChild is our newest application. In LoveChild people create and raise digital “Love Children” in a collaborative game with a friend or group of friends. Users can make decisions, like how to discipline their child and what activities to enroll them in, that will affect their child as they grow older. LoveChild is still in beta and there are many more features planned that will allow users to build up their child so they can compete with other children. Love Child has been in development all quarter, given the need for large amounts of graphic design work needed. We have high hopes for LoveChild to become an highly engaging and fun application. We’ve already seen a high level of response from our initial users, given the early stage of the application. We already have users clamoring for new features and giving suggestions for changes they want to see. We started a group for these initial users, hoping to build a beta tester community that will grow into a dedicated fan base.
Team Killa Bzz
Our team compromises of Johnny Hwin, Randal Truong and Rohan.
Some of our friends outside of the class have also contributed significantly to these applications - Danny Tarlow, Rolf Steier, Nathan Marz, Gary Luu and Sylvia Yun