A small tech company has been making quite a ripple in the social media and multi level marketing space these past couple weeks. What is really interesting about this company is that they have been live for less than two weeks and have over 250,000 people signed up. Based on my estimated calculations on the data the company has provided via hangouts and newsletters, the current growth rate is about 49% a day. *Disclaimer:I do not have access to any data other than what has been disclosed by the company and my growth estimations are based on that. The concept of Rippln is simple - leverage your social influence and earn rewards. Much like Klout, you can integrate all your social networks into one service and then Klout determines, based on how active you are in your social networks, a score between 0-100. The more influential you are in the social media space, the higher your Klout score. Sometimes you can even qualify for perks from various companies based on the topics that you’re influential about. The problem with Klout is that perks are for the most part mediocre and thus, provide less incentive other than your ego to keep a high score. Enter Rippln. Rippln is currently a free service that allows you to measure your social influence and see how far your ripple goes. Yes, it is another service that you will need to build from ground zero, but you will do it once you understand the true value in owning your network.
What’s interesting about Rippln and what has been rubbing some popular bloggers the wrong way, is that Rippln enables those who want to become players, thus, earning money by promoting various apps to people in their ripple and social networks. This is where understanding the value in owning your network comes into play. Once you’ve done the leg work in building your ripples you’ll have an active community of people to share apps, books, web services and more, along with sharing across your existing social networks. If you upgrade to a player status you will be able to earn a commission on those sales.
If you are asking, “is this one of those pyramid things?” Let me rephrase that question for you. Start asking, “Can people make money with this?” The answer to that question is yes, people do have the ability to make money with this program. It is a choice that anyone can make and no one is required to do so. You can join free, remain free and just see how far your ripple goes.
Another argument being made is that Rippln is hiding the fact that you can make money. As you register on the Rippln website, there are two videos you can watch: one is the Pre-NDA Video, the other a Post-NDA video that explain the concept of Rippln and explains how you will be able to make money. After you register and click on videos in your navigation bar, you can watch another video called the Rippln Invite that explains Rippln to the new person and mentions that you will be able to make money again. I do not think an argument can be made that this is a bait and switch.
I do have some concerns that corroborate with other bloggers. Is Rippln going to submit their app to the app store? If you look back to the AppGratis debacle that happened in the beginning of the month, you would heed my warning on adhering to Apples Guidelines. Apple made it very clear that if you’re in violation of their new guideline 2.25, you will be shut down.
“Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected.”
That guideline is vague on purpose. Apple can pretty much use that for any app that promotes other apps that were not developed by the same team. Another vague Apple guideline is 2.12:
“Apps that are not very useful, unique, or are simply websites bundled as Apps, or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected.”
If Rippln decides to go the app store route, they should certainly consider the above guidelines. Naturally, you can side step the guidelines and release web apps with homepage shortcuts on your phone. Heck, Apple even has a discovery system for these kinds of apps here. If Rippln decides to go the web app route is it still called an “app”? I know when someone mentions to me about a new app on their iPhone, I assume about 100% of the time they are referring to something they downloaded out of the app store. Maybe Rippln will clarify as to what they intended to do. It would suck to wake up one morning and realize after taking over 5% of the iPhone market, that your app was pulled from the App Store, which is exactly what happened the to CEO of App Gratis.
Regardless, the pressure is on the Rippln team to produce a product. They are currently spending money everyday and not creating any revenue. They are giving away a free service that people are signing up in droves for. That means they are paying for servers, IT, Customer Support and legal consultation that is probably running them upwards of $400 an hour. Much like the game is on for anyone who signs up for Rippln, the game will be up, if Rippln does not produce a product.
Use the contact form below if you’re interested in joining our ripple!