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September 16th, 2010

Defining popularity among antivirus programs

Over 130 million reasons why avast! is the most popular

About every antivirus program is calling itself “the most popular” these days. It reminds me of beauty contests in high school – and the dark, unanswered questions about who was doing the counting in the back room.

It is time to talk about how we count at AVAST Software and three distinct, quantifiable categories where avast! is the world’s most popular antivirus:
1. Size of our registered user base. Francisco F. is our 130 millionth currently registered user. This means that after downloading avast!, he asked us to email him a license key and then entered it into the program just milliseconds ahead of a certain Chris, Imrun, Jimmy, Dragana, and Elias to complete his registration.
2. Growth in the number of users during 2010. So far in 2010, we’ve added 34.9 million new users. Our total user base has grown by a third in just ten months.
3. Incredible, near-viral recommendation levels. Over 60% of our new users have come because a friend recommended that they try us. We track this referral statistic because keeping users happy is absolutely critical for our long-term success. I think other AV companies also do – but they just don’t talk about it.

Now you know why we can call ourselves the world’s most popular antivirus program. I don’t know about the other companies.
And when it came to those beauty contests at my high school, they never counted the votes. They just weighed them because all of the ballot papers were the same size.

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