Two uses of Facebook by communicators caught my attention recently. The teams that built the applications — and the causes they built them for — couldn’t be more different. But they share a smart approach to the medium.
One, Whopper Sacrifice, was created for Burger King by the almost-always cutting edge Crispen Porter and Bogusky and sub-contractor Refresh Partners. The application gave people a coupon for a free Whopper if they sacrificed 10 Facebook friends. The idea, of course, was to show in a tongue-in-cheek way that the Whopper trumps friendship (and maybe it does trump certain Facebook friendships, no?). The application got into the heart of the Facebook/social media experience and tweaked it, played with it. Too well, I guess, as Facebook forced the team to remove the viral essence of the application— the part that alerted people that they had been unfriended in the name of one tenth of a free Whopper.
Far more serious (and I’m guessing lower-budget.. but I don’t know) are these…
QassamCount allows people to “donate” their Facebook status messages (the little box that says what you’re up to right now… and is spread amongst your friends when you update it). Donated status boxes are automatically filled in with info when a Qassam rocket hits Israel from the Gaza strip. The app was created by Dan Peguine and Arik Fraimovich. Their goal was to counter what they (and many others) believed was distorted news coverage of the conflict in Gaza and neighboring Israeli towns. A competing application was created called STOP Israel’s War Crimes in Gaza by Abdallah Ehab in Egypt to counter what he (and many others) believed was distorted news coverage of the conflict in Gaza and neighboring Israeli towns.
These are smart applications. They also go to the heart of the experience… and they really hone in on where the “media” (the communications real estate) is, and leverage it. Arik believes that every donated status box is seen by about 20 people. He says they have 75,000 donated boxes… that’s a reach of 1.5 million people.
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Finally, an intelligent person has explained the basis of these Quassam counts, and similar applications.
Thank you, Barak