If you’ve been hanging out on Twitter the past few days, you might have seen a few people tweet about requesting an invite to the stealthy social media app Connect.me.It turns out the app got 40,000 users over the past week — accidentally.
When you try to log in, Connect.me asks you to reserve your username and tweet out a link if you want to get in faster. There’s nothing extraordinary about that, but there’s something about the whole flow that makes the thing really work. For example, each invite has a unique link, so when you click through someone’s profile, it shows you that person’s picture, saying they invited you.
It turns out that the makers of Connect.me were planning on making their big blow-out at SXSW, and just sent an invite to a handful of friends and family — and the viral loop works so great that it got tens of thousands of users overnight.
Social media really changes how fast an app can spread virally. Because the rules of the game have changed, each new app grows faster than the one before it. Facebook grew faster than Google, Twitter grew faster than Facebook, Foursquare is growing faster than Twitter and now Instagram is growing even faster.