November 15, 2010

MyLikes Passes 100k Influencers, Hires 3 More Ex-Googlers

MyLikes, the personal endorsement-based advertising platform best known for the ability to create sponsored tweets and YouTube videos, has seen significant growth since the company announced an initial funding round last April, opening up to the public and unveiling its advisory board, of which I am a member. The company's CEO, Bindu Reddy, reports more than 100,000 "influencers" are registered on the platform, reaching more than 160 million people. The company, who was founded by a pair of ex-Googlers, and who raised the angel round solely from former Google employees, has now added another three Xooglers to the mix, with the hiring of a new senior director of sales and engineering talent from the Mountain View search giant.

Like with Twitter, much of MyLikes' initial traction has come thanks to early engagement with notable Hollywood celebrities, and their loyal followers. Early users of the platform have included Snoop Dogg, Lindsay Lohan, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian. Also like Twitter, many of the company's initial employees are former Googlers. Of the company's first 7 employees, 6 came via Google.

MyLikes Finds a Home With Celeb Tweeters

Of the new hires, the most visible is that of the company's new sales director John DiCola, who spent 7 years in Sales at Google, from 2000 to 2007, and is credited with opening and growing the Google offices in Chicago, Detroit and Dallas as the regional sales manager in the midwest.

John is joined by Tracy Scott, a new engineering hire at MyLikes, who was a senior ads infrastructure and system engineer at Google, receiving the prestigious founders award, before becoming the CTO of Pixelpipe, and Nick White, a senior software engineer at Google who most recently worked at YouTube on social features and personalization.

Also joining the company, the only non-Xoogler, Grzegorz Miaskiewicz, who recently blogged on updates to the MyLikes home page.

Growth on the company in terms of users, employees and clicks has also spawned new features and product improvements. As users "Like" items and share items through MyLikes, they get a unique MyLikes page, which can be shared on multiple sites throughout the Web, including Blogger, Posterous, Twitter and Facebook.

Also, an interesting twist, the company has created a patent-pending influence score that is based on user's social engagement, taking into account multiple factors like the numbers of friends and followers, clickthrough rates on shared links, mentions and retweets on Twitter, and more. The Influence score is continuously updated.

Disclosure: I am an unpaid advisor to MyLikes and hold a small equity position. Content of this post, and others, did not pass their way in advance.

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