HappyWhy: Facebook pages in a magazine-like format
20,000 users within the first six months of launch
HappyWhy is a great attempt at making Facebook Pages easier to consume. HappyWhy is privately funded and owes its existence to the generosity of countless programmers from the open-source community. To know more about the business idea, Jubin Mehta from YourStory caught up with entrepreneur Mithun Sheshagiri, one of the founders. Excerpts from the interview:
How did the business idea for HappyWhy come about? And how has the journey been so far?
The owners of many Facebook pages spend large amounts of time curating their pages; selecting and posting of high-quality links and removing spam/irrelevant posts which ensures that the quality of information is high. HappyWhy.com started out as an application that would allow Facebook users to discover interesting Facebook pages. We also decided to present the page in a magazine-like format for easy consumption. Links from the Facebook pages are presented as headline/image snippets.
2 months of solid work and we were ready with our first version on the 31st of January 2011. In the next couple of months, we spent time refining the system - speeding it up, making the UI more friendly and refining the discovery process. We saw good success and the team is now re-grouping to give HappyWhy another push to release the next set of features.
What are the features you’re working on?
Here’s some of the stuff we’re looking at:
One of the most popular actions performed by users is the 'Like'. Social media campaigns are built around accumulating ‘Likes’. Users’ 'Like' information tells a lot about the user (movies, books, bands, personalities, brands and so on). Using Like information, HappyWhy finds friends who are most similar to you and suggests pages you might interested in.
We have also over a period of time accumulated high-quality Facebooks pages. We are going to open-up this selection to the public as 'Featured Magazines'. A unique aspect about featured magazines is that
this is available for non-Facebook users too. This way, high-quality curated content (from the Facebook page) becomes available to a wider audience.
What is HappyWhy’s revenue model?
Currently, we place ads on our 'featured magazines'. We are not generating significant revenue from this yet. But as our magazine selection increases, we expect significant revenues from here.
We now have 2 brand-new revenue models. We have valuable user data - what users like and what friends of a given user like. This information will be packaged as a subscription service to 3rd party websites. How this data will be used by these websites is something we cannot reveal. But then, it doesn't take an Einstein to figure this out. We will also start recommending products and services to our users. We are planning to use affiliate marketing to capitalize on this channel.
How many people have used the service so far?
We get around 6000 unique visitors a month. Around 20,000 people have used our service till date.
How big is the HappyWhy team?
HappyWhy.com has 2 founding members - Mithun Sheshagiri and Srinivas Mangipudi. Umesh Mangipudi
and Sougat Garai are the other clan members. The HappyWhy team members are a diverse mix of people involved in multiple projects and this provides for a very dynamic atmosphere for HappyWhy to thrive in.