As many of you know, I am a fan of Asterix and Obelix . There is a character called Justforkix in Asterix and the Normans .. And I think that’s an apt title for this blog. It concerns mg33, one of the largest mobile social networks and it involves a very unusual revenue model called ‘kicks’. It is an example of unanticipated consequences i.e. no amount of market research could have predicted this behaviour and Mig33 co-founder Mei Lin Ng had to explain it twice to me before I got it myselves .. I will let Mei Lin explain it in her own words below .. Because it is a classic! Note that On a daily basis, there are more than 100,000 kicks.
As the popularity of our chat rooms grew, many users started forming regular groups within favourite chat rooms. As these developed, other users and groups would sometimes enter these established and favourite chat rooms, with the intent to disrupt or disband the chat room. This action is often a negative for users of the chat rooms. We started receiving user complaints.
We then introduced ‘kicks’ as a tool, to allow users and groups to self manage their regular and favourite chat rooms.
The intention was that if non-regular and disruptive users started entering your regular chat rooms, you could ‘kick’ them out. The ‘kicks’ behaviour became hugely popular, and evolved to being used as a competitive gaming action, between different user groups.
As more and more users engaged in chat rooms, distinct mig33 sub communities formed. Users from group A would then start rivalling with users from group B, or group C, using kicks to overtake chat rooms. Demand for kicks grew and we introduced a small fee for kicks (AU$0.02 per kick), to discourage over use of this feature. Demand has continued to grow and we have seen users in many countries in Asia, pay money to buy more credits, which are then used for kicks in the mig33 chat rooms. On a daily basis, there are more than 100,000 kicks.