Bigoven is a mobile and portable social network about food where people can share recipes, cooking tips, meal plans, and everything else about meal-making. Founder and CEO, Steve Murch, started the business in 2002, as an attempt to solve the “what should we make tonight?” problem. Currently, Bigoven’s integrated features allow users to share and organize recipes online, build try-soon list, as well as making grocery lists using Bigoven recipes. Along with detailed written recipes, the site also provides colorful photos to entice users and help guide them to cook dishes.
The business has been successful, especially in a time of recession. More and more people decide to eat at home due to the economic downturn. And since Americans are getting more passionate about the food they put in their bodies, the need for recipes and home cooking guidance is growing. Bigoven is now tallying about 4 million visitors every month, which indicates a 500 percent year-over-year increase. As of February 2013, BigOven had over 8 million downloads of mobile apps and more than 1.8 million registered members.
Bigoven’s mobile program in 2008 contributes to Bigovern’s success. As its new logo states: “Bring your recipes, grocery list and menus with you anywhere!” This new program allows users to carry Bigoven’s services on the go into grocery stores and build grocery list while doing the shopping. The number of people joining and registering for the site before they released an iPhone app in October of 2008 was about 70 people a day. But on the day they release the app, they got about 200,000 downloads and 100,000 new registrants. According to Steve, “right now, about 60 percent of our usage is via mobile”. At any given moment there are probably 400, 500 people who are online with BigOven, of which about 300 are from the mobile apps. And the number is going up.
Moreover, Bigoven strives to create a culture of community. For instance, its new Facebook integration has made the process of sign-up easy as never before. And existing users can invite their Facebook friend to join with a single click. Meanwhile when users share favorites, recipes they love on Facebook Timeline, this could potentially attract their friends who love cooking. Besides that, Bigoven’s “Cooking Groups” feature allows people to make new friends within the social website. Users can easily search cooking groups of their interest via its search engine, and allow people with similar interest to connect with each other, thus people can feel to be part of community and be more willing to stay tuned.