We designed the 1st facebook app in Canada


Telus MyFaves

Remember the year 2007? When Facebook and MySpace (wut?) were competing for World Domination... and Facebook introduced apps? We do, because that's when we created the first commercial Facebook application for a brand in Canada. We called it the MyFaves Fishbowl. And we used it to illustrate how easy it was to add their favourite friends to their TELUS Mobility plan.

We let people create their own fishbowls that they put on their Facebook walls, or in MySpace, or a blog. Pretty much any place online that they could host an image, we let them put a fishbowl. In fact, we used the project to help TELUS predict the social platform being used by their audience. We had a hunch it was Facebook, but as we collected the installation and engagement data in the background we had the proof. And from that point on, TELUS was able to better focus their digital media spend in areas that made the most sense. 

The Fishbowl experience generated over 7.5 million site hits for people under the age of 25. We'll repeat that... 7.5 million. Those were pretty massive numbers back in 2007. In fact, for a regional Canadian brand, they’d be pretty impressive now.

ClickZ had this to say, “It may be too early for us to identify best practices regarding this form of social network marketing, but this fun and fitting application would surely make the cut. From concept to ad buy, it’s a prime example of how social sites can be effectively used to go beyond branding to increase awareness of -and interest in- a new product.”

Even now when we look back at this project it remains one of our favourites. For a bunch of reasons. It made use of an emerging social platform in an innovative way. It allowed us to gather data, test and prove a media theory. Consumers loved their Fishbowls and talked about them in social spaces. And three years later when we finally decomissioned the server we heard that consumers were disappointed. It was epic.

One person deserves a huge note of gratitude, and that's Eugene Andruszczenko. He was the programmer and chief code brain behind the entire project. Remember, this was 2007. Facebook documentation was sketchy at best. They were changing things on the fly without telling anyone. MySpace was a security nightmare - also with no documentation. And yet, against all odds, Eug made it work. In fact, he exceeded each and every request we gave him. Under ridiculous timelines. I honestly don't think anyone on the team fully appreciated what he created. Thanks, Eugene. Thanks for all the fish.   

Duncan Porter | Dave Stubbs | Eugene Andruszczenko | Greg Bolton | Phil Bonnell | Jason Kahn | Jonas Naimark | Paul Reiss