You’re part of Google, there’s corporate pressure (and perceived quick wins) to work with other Google products. […] But guess what, in many cases that wasn’t where our growth was coming from. It was coming from Facebook, Twitter, Buzzfeed, Tumblr and the curatorial blogosphere. So that’s where we focused. Be where our users are and grow on the back of those ecosystems. Were some of them Google competitors? Heck, some of them were YOUTUBE competitors but overall the goal was to sew ourselves into the fabric of the web.
One of the themes that came up a lot was the idea of the growth team finding a leading indicator of a user who would turn into an engaged user later on. The growth team would then focus on optimizing for that metric. […]
Characteristics of leading indicator metrics
The various leading indicators fit into three categories:
• Network density: friend or following connections made in a time frame
• Content added: files added to a Dropbox folder
• Visit frequency: D1 retention
Chamath Palihapitiya, who used to run Facebook’s growth team, spoke about how his growth team discovered the “7 friends in 10 days” leading indicator. He said that they looked at cohorts of users that became engaged, and cohorts of users that did not become engaged, and the pattern that emerged was that the engaged cohorts had hit at least 7 friends within 10 days of signing up.
Growth hacking comes after the early stage chaos and post-product-market-fit. … You can only scale growth once you have something to grow.
While email is not that popular with the cool kids these days, it still dwarfs the newer channels.
Some people argue that these newer channels are killing email, but perhaps they are just making it more effective and focused. These other channels have removed some of the noise and freed up email to be a more serious channel. Like the timeless mullet haircut (where it’s business in the front and party in the back), people may go to Facebook to see photos or Twitter to see random status updates, but the inbox is where critical things are communicated.
The growth team was formed in late 2007, when Zuckerberg decided expansion was so important that it warranted a unit with its own resources. The site was approaching 100 million members, but its growth rate had cooled. […]
Within two years of its creation, the team had expanded Facebook’s roster of users sevenfold, to 360 million. […]
Recently, his team was renamed GEM—an acronym for growth, engagement, and mobile. Facebook’s new priority is keeping existing members active and logging in from mobile devices.
The user growth team works very closely with the data science team to ask the right questions about what drives growth, instrument logging to collect data that may answer that question, analyze the data when it comes in, define a test that is aimed at improving/manipulating some data set, measuring the results of that test, and then doing it all over again.
you could say that growth is broken down into a few fundamental questions:
- How do I increase the rate of acquisition i.e. get more signups?
- What can I do to activate as many users as quickly as possible in their first ‘N’ days?
- What are the levers for engagement and retention and how can I pull them?
- How do I bring churned users back into the system to “resurrect” them from the dead?
Adding user registrations at such a fast pace doesn’t leave enough time for a dedicated, engaged user community to organically create itself and establish norms […]
the worst thing a start-up social network can do is to buy advertising to attract users. Growth should happen because users find value in a site, and then get their friends to join […]
And if users don’t come? Start-ups should try harder to make a better product.