September 9, 2009

Save an Alien finds success outside of Facebook

Ayelet Noff

Save an Alien, previously a successful Facebook application with over 250,000 users despite no marketing, is an app that lets you adopt and save virtual aliens from destruction. Similar to the virtual pet fad of the 1990s but for the Web 2.0 age, SaveAnAlien lets users take care of aliens whose planet was destroyed in a meteor crash and now are sadly alone floating in space. Users can adopt virtual aliens and help save them from death. Until they do, the aliens will keep floating in space waiting to be adopted.

SaveAnAlien

SaveAnAlien

In an interesting move (I wonder, will this become a trend?), Save an Alien has recently moved off Facebook, and is now available as a standalone experience on the SaveAnAlien website. The founders say the move off Facebook was a strategic decision, which enabled them to provide a better experience for the adopters. In addition, the move opened the door to previously-untapped potential partnerships, like SAA’s recent integration with SkyRock, a leading French social network.

Red 2.0 and me in Paris having fun!

Red 2.0 and me in Paris having fun!

Three months after the launch of the new platform, with no marketing, and even before the SkyRock integration, there are already 40,000 users on the site. The monetization system built into the platform, based on virtual goods, is already outperforming what was possible for Save an Alien in the world of Facebook applications. So, it seems that the move off of Facebook was the right thing to do for the Alien guys. “This is just the beginning, though,” said Raz Friedman, CEO and founder. “We are continuously enhancing the experience and adding additional activities like a home and a garden with ‘Space Plants’ for the aliens, activities which have already proven to be very attractive and highly monetizable on other platforms.”

Red 2.0, Scoble, Blodgett and Me in a London cab

Red 2.0, Scoble, Blodgett and Me in a London cab

Save an Alien is a “virtual pet” platform with a unique story line. The original Facebook application took its users on a journey to save the aliens before the meteor hits their planet. The new Save an Alien continues this story line after the meteor hits, and with 10 million aliens floating in space waiting to be rescued, users are finding endless opportunities to adopt new aliens, take care of them and fulfill their every need and whim.

Once you adopt an alien, you can let your friends interact with it by pasting the Alien Widget into your blog, website, Facebook, and any other place that you can post HTML or Flash code.

Red 2.0, Aviv, Motti and me at a party

Red 2.0, Aviv, Motti and me at a party

“Our users have turned out to be real do gooders,” said Friedman. “We are truly moved by the emotional connection we see between them and their adopted aliens. In fact, many of them take the time to feed tens and even hundreds of aliens or help them find a home. The current saving aliens record belongs to a 16 years old girl from Netherlands, who helped save 164 other aliens.”

Talking with the Save an Alien team is quite an experience. All these guys ever speak about is aliens, feeding, adopting, petting and dressing up. Clearly they are having fun, and it’s quite amazing when you realize they’re actually generating substantial revenues while doing that.

Ayelet Noff is a partner in Socialmedia.biz and founder and Co-CEO of Blonde 2.0, an award winning digital PR agency with branches in Boston and Tel Aviv. Contact Ayelet via The Blonde 2.0 website , email, or follow her on Twitter and Google Plus.

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