One Direction Valentine’s Day Kissing Booth – 2013

We just launched the One Direction Valentine’s Day Kissing Booth application (2nd year –  see first version) and it was quite an event! Watch the video below showing realtime traffic at the time of the launch to see what a One Direction size launch looks like (and this one was only focused on Europe users on Twitter). Check out the application at:


This application and its launch demonstrates the social media realities of large viral campaigns.  What brands and labels don’t always realize is that when a campaign goes viral, social networks can sometimes interpret your “viral” as their “virus”. Application that receive too much traffic or create too many social media messages can actual trigger Facebook’s automated system to disable and remove your application without warning. Things can quickly get worse, as Facebook then attempts to book the developers of the application off the system. Social media success can turn into social media embarrassment very quickly. At Metablocks we have had to develop of host of techniques and contingency technologies to deal with these unfortunate realities:

  • Message throttling: Large application like this have the ability to throttle or limit social media messaging to prevent a system overload and trip Facebook’s automated systems. Messages can be toned down and later toned up.
  • Abuse Management: Sometimes your fans can be the problem. Excessive, inappropriate or annoying posts by fans can quickly lead to negative feedback that will result in your/our application being pulled down.  Our systems limits the number of posts or photos fans can publish within a period of time, it also flags abusers and “silently” disables their social media activity
  • Backup Applications: What happens when you application gets pulled down? Calling your Facebook representative is not very useful. The key to success falls in two important components of our platform –  backup applications and our smart Short URL Manager. We sometimes have as many as 5 backup application that share the same code base and setting, when one goes down, it is quickly replaced with a backup. In the case of One Direction, at least 2 backup applications kicked in. Our smart url manager can then reroute traffic to the correct application. Never use or other “hard” short url when launching a campaign of this nature, because if (or when) something goes wrong you will be out of luck. Our “soft” Short URL manager allows us to automatically route traffic to new applications based on parameters such as geography. The short url as so smart that even if you make a spelling mistake (or more commonly your fans do), they too can be ‘corrected’ and redirect on the fly.
  • Application Decoupling: When necessary we de-couple the page from the publisher. This unique approach protects your page in case something goes wrong with your publishing. If things go south, and your publisher gets pulled down, your page is still up and can quickly enable “silent publishing” (where content goes into your system but not on Facebook) or throttle down (see Message throttling’) to prevent any visible hiccups.
  • Expectation Management: Application of this nature are purposely designed to control and set fans expectations via the user interface to maximize a positive user experience while hiding the fact that the system maybe throttling or in cases of abuse, ignoring their annoying behavior. Because they are unaware of these measures, they are “happy” and less likely to act out.
  • Content Moderation: Content published on the system can be moderated. This allows us and our clients to delete inappropriate content, ban/block/identify abuse and abusers, and also feature good content.

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