My Thoughts On Wildfire Apps For Facebook

Wildfire App

image credit: JD Hancock on flickr

I have been using a mixture of app developers for competitions and page-tab on Facebook for the last few months and I would like to give my opinions on one of the more well-known of these – Wildfire.

I used Wildfire most recently for a photo contest and while the contest itself was a great success (I am happy to say that I increased the Page Likes for the business by 40% and their engagement and viral reach was at an all-time high), the app left a lot to be desired, especially from a company that has a Zuckerberg (Mark’s sister) as an employee.

I don’t want to rag too much on them however, as like all apps and programs there is both good and bad. Below I have listed a few of these, plus some ugly to round out the list.

The Good

Easy to Set Up
The great thing about Wildfire is that they have a great system of 5 steps to walk you through building the app. And they don’t start charging you until the app is completed and launched by you.

Low Cost
Wildfire has a pretty fair pricing platform, which is relatively low, especially given the impact you can achieve with them. They basically charge you a flat fee plus a small amount per day the contest runs.

You can use their apps within Facebook itself or in a micro-site, or both, which can be of great benefit if you want to direct people to an external website.

The Bad

Lack of Explanation
Wildfire needs to do a better job at explaining the way some of the functions work. A perfect example of this is in their contest app – it doesn’t inform you when you are creating it that any votes or “thumbs up” will be hidden from your fans. I wish I had known this prior to launching it.

Clunky Interface
While the process of setting up the app is straight forward, it can be clunky at times. This is more annoying than anything, but I think they could do better.

Visibility of Votes
As mentioned above, I would love to have my fans see how many votes or “Thumbs Up” an entry had at any particular time during the contest, but this was not an option.

The Ugly

Ugly Betty
The look – for a company who makes a noise about having a Zuckerberg on board, you would think that they would more closely align their layout with that of Facebook, or failing that, at least make it look nice.

Wildfire App Screen Shot

Wildfire App Screen Shot

Poor Navigation
I found the navigation to be particularly poor and unintuitive. You sometimes have to click 3 or 4 times just to get to pretty basic information. Again, more annoying than anything.

Easy to Make Mistakes
Some of the links are so close together you could easily click on “Disqualify” instead of “Approve”, which is not only annoying but could cause a lot of grief.


Having said all that, I would still recommend Wildfire, but I would love to see them focus on some of the cosmetics of the admin pages (and less focus on upgrading their home page).

I guess the big question is ‘would I use them again?’ At this stage I would, but if something else better came along I would quickly jump ship.

Over to you – have you used Wildfire before? What were your thoughts?

  • Amber

    Hi Russell – really interesting post, thank you for sharing your experience with Wildfire.I'd love for you to give SnapApp a try (last nights MITX winner in Direct Response Campaign!) and share your experience – you can create an account for free at

    If you enjoyed the flexibility of Wildfire, I think you'll appreciate that SnapApp also enables you to put your app/widget on a Facebook tab and a micro-site but you can also embed it in a blog post, on a web page, or even in an ad unit. Our apps can be mobile optimized for Facebook as well which is a big win for FB marketers & a huge differentiator. Our analytics also just got a major upgrade and come free with any level account so you can see who voted, from where, if they shared, etc.

  • Baked Social Media

    Thanks, Amber. I will take a look and let you know what I think.