Learning Viral: Add-on or Natural

April 30, 2008 - Get free updates of new posts here

Last week I had a great meeting with the casual-games / viral guru and VC extraordinaire Jeremy Liew from Lightspeed Ventures. If you can get money from him please take it. Anyways, we were talking about the casual games experience and virality when he mentioned something about the ways of incorporating virality.

Add-on: This is the generic “idea” of virality that many people use.


“I created this great site and now I will add an invite your friends box and we will go viral!” How many times have you heard of this strategy?

Natural: This is where the process of inviting, growing and spreading your site is the fun/natural way of growing it. As well, the virality coefficient or growth should be much greater than an add-on site. What are some examples of this?


link to photo
Friends for Sale on Facebook. You want to buy and sell your friends and play that game. And in the process you are inviting more and more people through that experience.
Paypal. I sent you $45 via email. Heck yes, you are going to create an account and accept that money.
– Virtual teams like Manager Zone. You are not inviting your friends, you are recruiting your team members to play on your team.

Bottom Line: It’s like adding a Ferrari engine to a Honda. It’s still a Honda. Try to think of ways that people want to compare with another, choose their friends not invite and it’s a natural part of the part process.

What are other examples of natural virality?

This is part of a series called “Learning Viral”. For the other posts in the series click below:

Learning Viral: What my Brita taught me about Commitment

Learning Viral: The Leech Method

Learning Viral: Track Everywhere from Linkedin.com

Learning Viral: The Basic Viral Model

Learning Viral: Viral Emails of Tagged.com

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1 reply to “Learning Viral: Add-on or Natural

  1. Anand Chhatpar Reply

    I have a couple of Facebook apps of my own. One is a dating app called Most Eligible Singles and the other one is Pillow Fight.
    See:
    http://adonomics.com/display/2377784495+7068221435

    Pillow Fight is “Viral by nature” because you cannot pillow fight with yourself… you HAVE to pillow fight with your friends. Also, to unlock new pillows in the game, you have to progress through the game by winning and you cannot win unless you play, of course.

    I’m trying to sell my apps though so I can focus on my day job as CEO of BrainReactions, so let me know if you guys know anybody who’s buying Facebook Apps.