Seattle offices yesterday to meet with co-founder Hadi Partovi. The
first thing I noticed when I walked into the office was a flat panel
display showing key real time stats for the company - see image to the
right. I took a picture as Partovi looked on nervously. These stats
haven’t previously been publicly disclosed, but he agreed that I could
iLike launched last October. In the nine months since they’ve gathered 3.5 million users (the orange stats in the picture), up from half a million
in February. Not bad. But what’s really impressive is the fact that in
less than two months nearly 5 million more people have signed up for
the service on Facebook, where it is the third most popular third party application.
The difference will only become greater - 2,800 Facebook users are
joining every hour, whereas the main site only gets 652 new users/hour.
Much of the popularity of the iLike Facebook application is driven
by something called the iLike Music Challenge, where users try to guess
songs or artist names based on listening to a 30 second snippet from a
song. Users get points for correct answers (and more points for fast
answers), and compete with their friends. It’s highly addictive and
viral - Partovi says the average user session last a whopping 80 songs.
Since points are public, I can see that a lot of my Facebook friends
are totally addicted to this. See the screen shot below, and click for
a larger view.
Two Sets Of Users
iLike has a bit of a problem, because it has two distinct sets of users
using two different products. There isn’t much overlap between the two
groups, he says, because the Facebook application isn’t promoted on the
The company is currently dedicating resources to merge the user
groups and make the functionality between the products identical (or at
least more similar). They’ll start by comparing cookies to find
cross-users. If cookies from both products are on a user’s browser,
they’ll ask if they have accounts at both and optionally merge them.
While their in the process of doing that, they continue to support
the two products separately. All new beta features are released on both
platforms, so its just the legacy stuff that needs to move. The most
important features are the data gathered from the iTunes plugin - users
want to show playlists and the music they are listening to on Facebook.
All of that is coming soon, the company says.