A private beta is when a company starts with a small number of users, and expands by allowing those users to invite others. As Grant Storry describes nicely here, companies often use this technique to add buzz, and to grow at their own pace to ensure they can serve everyone well.
Joost is a startup offering free TV over the internet, and until recently invites were doled out a few at a time. I’m guessing they needed enough users to prove their concept, but couldn’t push for wide adoption because they weren’t profitable without big-name advertisers.
Last week they threw open the doors, after this announcement:
Last week, Joost announced that it had signed more than 30 blue-chip brands, including The Coca-Cola Company, HP, Intel and Nike, as advertising launch partners. Beginning today, advertisements from some of the ad launch partners will begin to play on the platform. Advertisements from all ad launch partners will be on Joost later this month.
“Ok, we’ve got the money lined up, open the gates!”
Interestingly, while it’s pretty clear they want as many users as possible, the beta is still technically closed. You can’t download the app at Joost.com because they want you to hear about it from someone else.
Viral marketing at it’s best. A recommendation from a friend is more powerful than anything they can do.
It’s going to work, too. Joost is fun to play with and worth checking out. (It’s from the same folks who brought us Skype.) Your geeky friends will know about it in 3-6 months and your mom might be watching in a couple years.
Congrats guys, nicely done.
If anyone would like to give it a spin leave a comment below and I’ll send you an invite.
Category: Social Media