norayoung.ca | At the Corner of Technology and Culture

The Pros and Cons of Viral

Marc Andreessen has a fascinating look at Facebook Platform. He looks, first, at the difference between applications and platforms, but then, at how the insanely viral quality of Facebook can create huge scalability problems for successful applications. (Think of the bad rap Twitter got when it looked as though they were having problems with this). His point is that successful apps in Facebook Platform are going to need either to be designed by big companies or have lots of VC behind them. (via Guardian Technology Blog).

In addition to the viral quality of Facebook, there’s the fact that it’s so stupidly easy to add these apps. It seems as though focusing on who really is an ‘active user’ and how you define that is going to be important in figuring out real audience and real value. If you define ‘active user’ as someone who has used an application in the last 30 days, well, so what, really?

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