Happy Friday! James here from mjelly.com 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!