Deeper Look At A Facebook Platform Leader: SocialCalendar Pursuing Virtual Goods, Movies

While the very top of the Facebook platform – apps the like of Super Wall and Top Friends – has remained relatively static over the past year, new applications have continued to penetrate the platform’s upper echelon.

One such application is the shared calendar and gifting app SocialCalendar. We’ve compiled a brief overview of the app’s functionality, recent and substantial traffic swings, new focus on virtual goods, and recently launched foray into movies.

Description

The application helps users manage and coordinate social gatherings such as birthdays and holidays. The app’s functionality goes significantly deeper than Facebook’s Events application, as users can easily visualize and document their upcoming events and those of their friends in one, centralized location. Additionally, SocialCalendar takes advantage of the Amazon API, allowing users to create personal wish lists which can be shared with friends and family through the app’s event reminders. See another review on the app here.

App Traffic

In late October, we covered SocialCalendar’s spectacular growth after the profile redesign. As we reported then, the application’s monthly active user count doubled in October “from 2.2 million at the end of September to nearly 3.9 million.” At that time, SocialCalendar CEO Raj Lalwani attributed the growth to the inherently viral nature of the application’s core functionality, and the application’s compelling emails and notifications.

AppData for SocialCalendar

In December, the app’s supernormal growth cooled, and the app settled at roughly 2.2 million MAU by the start of the new year. Raj attributed to that slowdown to three primary factors:

  • A significant portion of the reported MAU were new signups during an extremely high growth period. Having accumulated over 8.5 million users, new signups have stabilized now – bringing MAU to current levels.
  • The SocialCalendar team’s focus shifted temporarily away from core functionality to monetization, which affected repeat visits by existing users.
  • The Holiday period.

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Just Launched: Virtual Gifts and Movie Calendars

Now, that work on monetization is beginning to come to fruition. As we reported last week, SocialCalendar recently released a new virtual gift offering that the company expects to be an “important source of revenue” moving forward. In keeping with most other virtual gift offerings, in SocialCalendar’s implementation users earn points by completing different actions or buy points directly which are then be used to purchase a variety of virtual gifts.

What makes SocialCalendar’s functionality unique is that users can also purchase virtual icons with their points. These icons (some 200-300 are now available) can be displayed on users’ calendar for each event or occasion created. Overall, the SocialCalendar team expects “users to buy several thousand virtual gifts and icons per day.”

In addition to the recent push into virtual goods, SocialCalendar today introduced a Movie Calendar, which allows users to see movies opening this week, coming soon, and on the top box office list. Through the Movie Calendar users can add movies to their own SocialCalendars, and can see show times and buy tickets directly. Raj considers this new piece of functionality another step towards filling the team’s vision of a social calendar, which he defines as “a place where users manage their social life and coordinate various social activities with their friends and family.”

Looking Ahead

Since the start of the new year the app’s traffic has begun to stabilize in the 2.0 million MAU range. Today, Raj reports that the app’s daily usage trends seem promising and he expects that the app will continue to recover from the December traffic shifts.

To start 2009, SocialCalendar has launched a new revenue stream with plans for further expansion in virtual goods, boasts a substantial install base, and is showing strengthening DAU numbers. We’ll stay on top of SocialCalendar’s growth and other apps that are experiencing big shifts in traffic in 2009.

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