Viral Web Apps: An Often Underlooked Viral Tool

Posted by Webmaster - May 20, 2012 - Blog - No Comments

Web apps can go viral very quickly. They have a high perceived barrier to entry – meaning a lot of webmasters think that because they can’t program, they can’t create a viral web app. However, the reality is that just about anyone can create a viral web app – even with no programming ability.

One example of a viral web app is The site was built in under two hours by a couple of engineering students. The site grew extremely quickly, garnering tens of thousands, then millions of views.

The site generates over $5 million dollars in revenue per year. Though they’ve added a lot of functionality since, the core concept itself was built in two hours. How much would you have to pay an engineering student for two hours of work? Not much.

Here’s how to create your own viral web app.

==> Start with a Controversial Concept

This is the key to the whole endeavor. If you don’t have a concept that’ll catch attention, then you shouldn’t even create a web app in the first place. Not if your goal is to go viral.

Keep brainstorming potential ideas until you come up with an idea that’s completely outside the conventional walls. It should be an idea that, if executed properly, people can’t help but want to pass on.

==> Gauge the Programming Complexity

If you’re not a programmer, the next step is to gauge how complex the programming will be.

If you have a basic understanding of IT, you might be able to make a rough guess. If you have no expertise at all, then you’ll need to talk to someone who does.

One way to do it is to just post on Craigslist or Gumtree asking to talk to an engineering student for $20 to $40. Show them your idea and ask them how complicated the project might be.

Alternatively, you could just throw it up on a site like Elance and see where the bids are. The more complex the project, the higher the bids will be.

==> Getting the App Done

It’s best if you can map out exactly what you want the app to do yourself. Don’t outsource the concept’s creation to a programmer.

Instead, you should be able to just send a programmer exactly what you want. They then send back the finished product.

Doing a web app can cost anywhere between $150 and multiple tens of thousands of dollars. If you’re on a budget, you can easily get one done for a couple hundred dollars. If you’re doing something elaborate, a few thousand is enough for most projects.

If you can, incorporate a “share with a friend” element into the app. This will help the app go viral. This is how many of those web surveys went viral. After taking the survey, you get the chance to invite friends to do the same.

Once your app is up and running, test it. Once you’ve verified that it does everything you want it to, launch it to your list, your site and to social bookmarking sites. If your concept is truly attention catching, the traffic will quickly start rolling in.