Startup offers widgets, API access, free for the taking, then offers upgrades to enterprise support. Customer fans include Major League Baseball.
BigDoor is a small company on a mission to send you on a mission.
Along with other gamification platform startups like Bunchball and Badgeville (is there a rule all the names have to start with "B"?), BigDoor wants to provide services other websites can embed to create more fun and engaging experiences that keep people coming back.
In particular, BigDoor wants to make it easy for Web publishers to design "missions" that website visitors will be to encouraged to complete, whether on behalf of an advertiser or the publisher. Those who complete their missions get rewards, which can include social network status (a badge on their profile), virtual rewards, or real world rewards like gift cards.
Web publishers sign up for free. BigDoor takes a commission based on the virtual economy of points awarded and redeemed.
The service has won some big customers such as Major League Baseball, which uses BigDoor's widgets to encourage fans to follow games online through live gameday coverage. DevHub, a do-it-yourself Web publishing tool for small business, uses BigDoor widgets to make signing up for and using the service more "like a game."
Thursday, BigDoor announced it was acquiring another small startup, OneTrueFan, which has been working on a Web-based rewards platform that also includes some gamification elements. The acquisition will allow BigDoor to offer organizations that don't already have a rewards program an easy way to create one, BigDoor CEO Keith Smith said. In addition, BigDoor will be coming out with "a combined, enhanced OneTrueFan" offering, while also incorporating elements of the acquired firm's technology into the BigDoor service. OneTrueFan will also help BigDoor improve its "social user acquisition" strategy, Smith said.
OneTrueFan will add five people to the BigDoor staff, for a total of 31 employees, Smith said.
BigDoor is also in the midst of a private beta of a "quest bar" widget that will follow users as they go on more complicated, multistep "missions" to earn bigger rewards. BigDoor also provides a REST API and other customization options.
Typically, it's advertisers on the website who pay, although publishers also have the option of funding the rewards program themselves to deepen engagement with their sites, Smith said. The idea is to create a "cost per quest ad format, where advertisers who want to reach a publisher's audience come up with a quest for the user to complete--like watch this video about this particular brand, or like this brand's Web page. When they come back to the original publisher, they now have currency they can spend at the publisher's site," he said.
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