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How to Model Viral Growth

Author
Walkthrough

Rahul Vohra
http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20121002124206-18876785-how-to-model-vira

Contact

rahul@vohra.org.uk
www.linkedin.com/in/rahulvohra
www.facebook.com/rahul.vohra
www.twitter.com/rahulvohra

24206-18876785-how-to-model-viral-growth-the-hybrid-model

The Simplest Possible Model


Variables
Intial users
Viral factor

5,000
0.2

7,000

6,000

Output
Month
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Users (month start)

Growth

5,000
6,000
6,200
6,240
6,248
6,250
6,250
6,250
6,250
6,250
6,250
6,250

1,000
200
40
8
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

5,000

4,000

3,000

2,000

1,000

Users (month start)

7
Month

10

11

12

The Hybrid Model


Variables
Launch press

70,000

App store search growth


App store downloads / month
% who activate
App store search growth / month

40,000
60%
24,000

Direct traffic growth


Direct traffic downloads / month
% who activate
Direct traffic growth / month

10,000
60%
6,000

Viral factor

0.2

Output
Month
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18

Users (month start) Launch press App store


104,000
158,800
203,760
246,752
289,350
331,870
374,374
416,875
459,375
501,875
544,375
586,875
629,375
671,875
714,375
756,875
799,375

70,000
-

24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000

19
20
21
22
23
24

841,875
884,375
926,875
969,375
1,011,875
1,054,375

24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000

Users (mo
600,000

500,000

400,000

300,000

200,000

100,000

Direct traffic Viral growth Total growth


10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000

20,800
10,960
8,992
8,598
8,520
8,504
8,501
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500

104,000
54,800
44,960
42,992
42,598
42,520
42,504
42,501
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500

10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000

8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500

42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500

Users (month start)

7
Month

10

11

12

Virality as the Amplification Factor


Amplification factor, a
0.10
0.20
0.30
0.40
0.50
0.60
0.70
0.80
0.90
0.95
0.98
0.99

1.00
1.11
1.25
1.43
1.67
2.00
2.50
3.33
5.00
10.00
20.00
40.00
100.00

Amplification F
10.00
9.00
8.00
7.00
Amplification Factor

Viral factor, v

6.00
5.00
4.00
3.00
2.00

a = 1.25

1.00
-

0.10

0.20

Amplification Factor vs. Viral Factor

a = 3.33

a = 1.67
a = 1.25

0.20

0.30

0.40

0.50
Viral Factor

0.60

0.70

0.80

0.90

1.00

The Hybrid Model, with Simple Loss


Variables
300,000

Launch press

70,000
250,000

App store search growth


App store downloads / month
% who activate
App store search growth / month

40,000
60%
24,000

Direct traffic growth


Direct traffic downloads / month
% who activate
Direct traffic growth / month

10,000
60%
6,000

Viral factor

200,000
150,000
100,000
50,000

0.2

% of users lost / month

15%

Output
Month
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

Users (month start) Launch press App store


104,000
143,200
166,680
184,670
199,568
212,152
222,833
231,909
239,623
246,180
251,753
256,490
260,516
263,939

70,000
-

24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24

266,848
269,321
271,423
273,209
274,728
276,019
277,116
278,049
278,841

24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000

Users (month start)

10

Month

Direct traffic Viral growth Gross growth


10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000

20,800
10,960
8,992
8,598
8,520
8,504
8,501
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500

104,000
54,800
44,960
42,992
42,598
42,520
42,504
42,501
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500

Loss

Net growth

(15,600)
(21,480)
(25,002)
(27,701)
(29,935)
(31,823)
(33,425)
(34,786)
(35,943)
(36,927)
(37,763)
(38,473)
(39,077)
(39,591)

104,000
39,200
23,480
17,990
14,898
12,584
10,681
9,076
7,714
6,557
5,573
4,737
4,027
3,423
2,909

11

12

10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000

8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500
8,500

42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500
42,500

(40,027)
(40,398)
(40,713)
(40,981)
(41,209)
(41,403)
(41,567)
(41,707)
(41,826)

2,473
2,102
1,787
1,519
1,291
1,097
933
793
674

The Retention Curve


Week
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36

Retention
81%
74%
82%
65%
64%
62%
58%
53%
58%
54%
54%
55%
47%
47%
43%
48%
49%
48%
49%
49%
45%
45%
44%
39%
39%
38%
39%
40%
41%
42%
45%
40%
42%
37%
38%
40%

Example Retention Cu
100%
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
0

12

16

Weeks since user was acqui

ple Retention Curve

20

Weeks since user was acquired

24

28

32

36

The Virality Curve


1
2
3
4
5
6

Viral Factor
0.2
0.1
0.05
0.025
0.0125
0.00625

Example Virality Cur


0.25

0.2

Viral Factor

Month

0.15

0.1

0.05

0
1

Month since user was acq

mple Virality Curve

4
Month since user was acquired

The Hybrid Model, with Retention and Virality Curves


Variables
Launch press

70,000

App store search growth


App store downloads / month
% who activate
App store search growth / week

40,000
60%
24,000

Direct traffic growth


Direct traffic downloads / week
% who activate
Direct traffic growth / week

10,000
60%
6,000

Users (m
300,000

250,000

200,000

150,000

Virality
Viral factor decay
Viral factor month 1
Viral factor month 2
Viral factor month 3
Viral factor month 4
Viral factor month 5
Viral factor month 6
Lifetime viral factor

0.50
0.20
0.10
0.05
0.03
0.01
0.01
0.39

100,000

50,000

Retention
Retention month 0 -> 1
Retention month 0 -> 2
Retention month 0 -> 3
Retention month 0 -> 4
Retention month 0 -> 5
Retention month 0 -> 6

65%
55%
51%
48%
44%
40%

Output
Month
-4
-3

Users (month start) Launch press App store Direct traffic

-2
-1
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24

67,600
88,088
109,269
128,407
145,638
161,061
178,637
196,206
213,814
231,445
249,092
266,750
284,417
302,087
319,758
337,430
355,103
372,775
390,448
408,121
425,794
443,467
461,141

70,000
-

24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000
24,000

10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000

Users (month start)

Growth Channels a
80,000

60,000

40,000

20,000

(20,000)

(40,000)

(60,000)
4

10

11

12

Month

Viral growth Gross growth Loss

Launch press

Net growth

App store

13,520
11,898
11,245
10,859
10,629
10,493
10,295
10,244
10,217
10,201
10,193
10,188
10,185
10,184
10,184
10,183
10,183
10,183
10,183
10,183
10,183
10,183
10,183

104,000
47,520
45,898
45,245
44,859
44,629
44,493
44,295
44,244
44,217
44,201
44,193
44,188
44,185
44,184
44,184
44,183
44,183
44,183
44,183
44,183
44,183
44,183
44,183

(36,400)
(27,032)
(24,716)
(26,108)
(27,628)
(29,206)
(26,918)
(26,726)
(26,636)
(26,586)
(26,554)
(26,534)
(26,521)
(26,516)
(26,513)
(26,511)
(26,511)
(26,510)
(26,510)
(26,510)
(26,510)
(26,510)
(26,510)
(26,510)

67,600
20,488
21,181
19,138
17,231
15,423
17,576
17,569
17,608
17,631
17,647
17,658
17,667
17,670
17,671
17,672
17,673
17,673
17,673
17,673
17,673
17,673
17,673
17,673

owth Channels and User Loss

10

11

Month
App store

Direct traffic

Viral growth

Loss

12