When we wrote the User Profile feature for SpotDJ, we decided we wanted something a little more interesting than just filling in your username and password. We came up with the idea of presenting the user with three questions, randomly selected from a list that we could easily change. I think it was Grant who suggested that after you answer all three, you get a fourth question to answer — just in case there were people out there who had nothing better to do. The questions were mostly about music, but they were fun, open to interpretation, and quirky.

We were surprised how quickly people took to this feature. Even though you had to submit a form every single time just to get a new question, there were plenty of users who answered all the questions we had. A few people even took the questions and their answers and pasted them on their MySpace page or blog. At some point, I bought 10secondinterview.com (I think 30 Second was taken) and started to work on a standalone version — a simple widget you could create with these random questions to spice up your profile page. I didn’t have much time to work on the site, but when the Facebook API was announced, I knew exactly what I’d use to try it out.

The 10 Second Interview Facebook App was initially written in about half a day, though it borrows heavily on existing code from SpotDJ. At first, I just sent it to a few friends and posted it on my Facebook Profile, but within a day, I was seeing activity from people I had never heard of. Oddly, they seemed to be mostly Jewish, and mostly Canadian. Anyway, I had a lot of fun trying to follow the paths of who found the app from whose profile. In a few days, it had gone from zero to 80 or so users, and I had a script that would pull up every user’s Facebook profile so I could see who they were.

Then, suddenly, there were 400 users. It turned out that my submission to the Facebook app directory had been approved along with what was probably the first batch of non-Facebook-and-friends-of-Facebook apps to be listed. It’s now a few weeks later and 10 Second Interview is pushing 60,000 current users (with significantly more who have installed it at one time or another).

There are a lot of interesting stats I could gather about the app, though at the moment I’m a little scared to touch anything. I did, however, do some queries to determine what questions are receiving the most responses. Remember that questions are asked in random order, so not all users see all the questions. The most popular question was answered by 93% of the users who saw it.

Here are the top 5 questions by percentage of users who answered:

  1. What’s your favorite kids’ cereal?
  2. What should you really be doing right now?
  3. Take whatever you want. Just don’t take my…
  4. If you had a tattoo, what would it be?
  5. What’s your favorite candy?

One thing that’s interesting to me is that people have said in the forums (and through messages directly to me) that they like the questions that are wacky, risque, or ask a this or that (Twizzlers or Red Vines? Mary Kate or Ashley?). Yet the ones that get the highest rate of response are pretty standard questions. It would be interesting to classify the different questions and see if the users are right — maybe people like the bizarre questions but they’re less likely to answer the same ones.

Here are the 5 least popular questions (all stats are as of last week). The least popular question had a 24% response rate:

  1. What would your porn name be?
  2. What’s your favorite 80’s band?
  3. Who was your first crush?
  4. One in the hand is worth two in the…
  5. What flavor are you glad is not included in Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans?

Worth noting: The most recent response to the last question was “big foot’s dick flavour.”

There are a lot of features I’m hoping to implement if/when I have the time, and a lot of stats that I think would be really interesting to look at (for example, I have no idea who’s winning — Mary Kate or Ashley?). I hope to post more about 10Sec soon…

2 thoughts on “10 Second Interview – Adventures on Facebook

  1. Andy Kerr

    Hey, I love that app, but I haven’t been able to use it lately—an error message about how it doesn’t support secure browsing.

    That’s not my real reason for stopping by, though. Is there any way—pretty please—to get a copy of all the questions?


    Andy Kerr

  2. klep

    Sadly, no. The content likely still exists somewhere, but not in a capacity where I could obtain or share it.

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