In one of the most brilliant books ever to dissect the the success formula behind sensational dot com phenoms, Adam Penenberg‘s Viral Loop explains that the most successful websites have a “viral loop” built into their DNA – like baking weed into brownies. In an equally impressive summary of how the Viral Loop works, Josh Jeffreys presents a Slide Share Power Point presentation (below):
I recently saw this played out in Digg’s new facelift. Nowadays, if you want to sign up for Digg as a first-time user, you have only two choices:
- Sign up using your Facebook account
- Sign up using your Twitter account
That’s it, no other way to sign up to Digg.
This is totally different from how a similar site, StumbleUpon allows people to sign up:
The thing about the Digg sign up is that once you sign up using Facebook or Twitter, everything you do on Digg gets automatically posted to your Facebook wall and timeline. Same thing for Twitter.
Of course, you can adjust the privacy settings if you are paying close attention and astute to the process, but they make it easy for you to skip over that process.
By integrating Facebook and Twitter into the DNA of the Digg app’s sign up process, it makes the site naturally viral. If you Digg something, it is automatically shared on your wall. Because your friends trust you and tend to like what you like, then they are more likely to visit that Digg link that’s been implanted in your timeline and on your wall. So, one person sharing something becomes two people sharing, which becomes four, eight, sixteen, and so on. That’s how the viral loop works.
So, if you want to make your website or app go viral, think about allowing people to sign up using a social media platform and bake it into your site.