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Heysan – mjelly Mobile 2.0 Service of the Week

Happy Friday! James here from with another Mobile 2.0 Service of the Week – this time we are going to look at HeySan – which hardly anyone knows about in the mobile industry but is getting pretty big and can teach us a lot about how to build a mobile web service with massive traction and stickiness.


What is it?

Heysan is a mobile web interface to all the major instant messaging services including MSN, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, Myspace IM and soon the new facebook messaging system.  Heysan means “Hello” in Swedish and funnily enough it was founded by some Swedes, plus one Brit.  Heysan was originally seed funded by Paul Graham‘s YCombinator which provides small amounts of investment (around $20k) to help a group of founders build a product.  HeySan is one of the few mobile companies funded by YCombinator (the other big one being the LBS service Loopt) and they’ve been going since 2007.


Why is it interesting?

Heysan is probably the first mobile web service to develop a really effective viral distribution mechanism.  When you first sign in to your IM account they give the option to ping your friends/ contacts to let them know you are using heysan and in return you get credits for their virtual store.  The virtual store lets you buy stuff like special emoticons and the like – a bit like the one run by Flirtomatic.  It is really worth spending a lot of time digging behind Heysan as it has a lot more features than meets the eye such as SMS notifications and community/ profile elements.  Every single mobile web service should be looking at these guys to see how they are doing things. The site is also beautifully designed with a really clean UI.

The proof that Heysan is onto something interesting is in the stats which are absolutely jaw dropping – and remind me of the kind of figures facebook used to pump out after they started which made everyone sit up and take notice.  The average user spends over 5 hours a month on heysan, they are doing 100 million page views a month and have 600,000 users.  What is also amazing is that the largest markets for Heysan are not Indonesia or India like a lot of other mobile IM aggregators, but the UK and the US.

We are really seeing the beginnings of something big happening in mobile and this is the kind of case study that proves it.  Shouts to Krystal and Ewan at Mobile Industry Review for giving us the chance to tell you about all these great mobile services!

You can find Heysan on mjelly, which is a directory of the best mobile web sites and other stuff


  1. Uh, Heysan has the shadiest viral mechanism I've ever seen. Based on this review, I logged in and clicked the “Share with friends.” Without any confirmation, it blasted all of my friends, leading to AIM rate-limiting and kicking me off. Avoid Heysan.

  2. I had the exact same experience. This is kind of like the Loopt debacle, wherein they spammed people's contacts with invites. Definitely leave this crap alone.

  3. Hey Ramit – I did highlight in the review that this is what they are doing and how effective it is. Virtually all of the soc nets (bebo, myspace, hi5) use this mechanism and heysan are the first i have seen to use it on mobile. To be fair you did click “share with friends” so it's hardly shady!

  4. I'm all for promoting companies to watch, but 100 million page views in a month – is that supposed to be a lot? Some of us in the mobile space are generating that kind of traffic in a day, so I'm not sure I'd consider it jaw dropping…


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