Facebook Application Redux

My WIRED SCIENCE Facebook app has been reviewed online, and the review was stellar! You can read it here:

Not only did we get a glowing 4.5 stars out of 5, but I think the reviewer totally understood what I was going for with the application’s strategy. When we were initially throwing Facebook app ideas around, these were our priorities:

  • brand the TV show within Facebook
  • be creative and fun
  • be accessible to a large audience (not just science/PBS geeks)
  • include some science in there somewhere (educate the masses)

I thought about the concepts of extremely viral widgets that were online (again, not just the things geeks do, things that almost everyone does). What came to mind were the Quizilla quiz widgets, and the MyHeritage.com celebrity look alike widget. It seemed like everywhere I looked, somebody was showing off quiz results or their Celeb Look Alike gallery.  My observations from the popularity of these two widgets were:

  • users like to show off the results of some sort of input mechanism
  • users who share their widget tend to be vain (but by default, non-vain users wouldn’t share the widget). I use the term ‘vain’ loosely.
  • users like simple, quick, accessible experiences when it comes to widgets

Of course, none of this was scientific, just a guesstimate from the hundreds of hours I spend online. From there, I took a look at the top apps on Facebook at the time, and many of them were quiz applications. You answer a few questions, and all of a sudden your fortune has been calculated. As a result, your profile has a badge reflecting your results.

There is some other secret sauce I added, mostly the Dream Team I came up with to put this thing together, and the extra spin on mixing results with your friends. In the end, it’s great to be recognized for your work, so thank you FaceReviews!

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