3 New Kickstarter Features

5 November 2018 | 12 Comments

Today is November 5, the third anniversary of my last day on Kickstarter.

Kickstarter has evolved quite a bit since then:

  • They added a way to itemize rewards in pledge levels and add official collaborators to your project. (read more)
  • They created an amazing organic sharing system by allowing backers to follow creators and other backers. (read more)
  • In an impressive feat of programming, they added Kickstarter Live, a way for creators to interact in real time via video with current and potential backers. (read more)

The evolution has continued recently with 3 new features that I’ll discuss briefly today. You may have noticed the first if you’ve backed a project recently. When you complete your pledge, Kickstarter now gives you the opportunity to express WHY you backed the project:

How is Kickstarter using this information? I’m not sure. But for some reason it felt good to be asked.

The other big addition is something I was super curious back when I was on Kickstarter: I wanted to know how many people had clicked the “Remind Me” button. Now Kickstarter provides this information on the creator dashboard:

Does this actually help the creator? Not really. There’s nothing actionable about the data. But it can be reassuring if you’re hoping for a bump in the final 48 hours.

The last evolution is somewhat behind the scenes. I recently learned that Kickstarter rejected a project (temporarily) because the creator had too many unfulfilled projects. I wasn’t aware of that rule, so I asked Kickstarter about it, and here’s what Luke Crane said in reply:

My Trust & Safety team will review the creator’s project history and check to see if rewards have been fulfilled, projects updated and backers are happy. If that’s the case, the team will let the project through. If not, we simply ask the creator to slow down and get all previous ducks in a row before launching.

[My team] will need to see significant (public-facing) progress on the unfulfilled project(s) before they will allow overlapping projects to proceed. This doesn’t necessarily mean all boxes shipped, but it does mean updates posted, comments answered and messages replied. If the creator is doing all that, they shouldn’t have any trouble launching overlapping projects.

While I’m surprised this isn’t in Kickstarter’s publicly posted guidelines, I think it is a fantastic policy, and it shows that Kickstarter is indeed looking after both backers and creators.

Also, this is an important reminder to creators that it’s a good idea to submit their project at least a week in advance of launch, if not more, just in case Kickstarter’s team flags something that they need to address.

BONUS: Several people in the comments have mentioned that Kickstarter now enables threaded comments, which is fantastic.

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What do you think about these newer developments?

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12 Comments on “3 New Kickstarter Features

  1. So, I have to admit, I got a little excited because the notification about this post on your blog read ‘3 New Kickstarter Features from Stonemaier Games’! 😄

    That being said, I’m not a big user of Kickstarter, being in Australia.

  2. Thanks for the link to the complete “They created an amazing organic sharing system by allowing backers to follow creators and other backers” post. I agree with the unwelcome spammy aspect of receiving such notifications of projects backed by a creator you follow. That’s akin to what happens with celebrities—e.g., Oprah’s favorites with their associated sales spikes—except in that case you receive the news while tuning in on the celebrity, so the announcements don’t stuff your Inbox.

    I welcome availability of the KS “Converted Followers” data and especially the accountability guidelines.

  3. They also made it so you can respond to individual comments on the comments page, which is actually the biggest and most useful change I think!

  4. Thank you for the continued posts about Kickstarter, Jamey. Another somewhat new feature is the threaded comments and replies in the comments section. It allows project creators to reply directly to a backer and makes communication much easier.

  5. The stats on followers are incredibly helpful. On our last campaign, we knew before the final 2 days that whether we funded or not would come down to the wire so we could take action accordingly. We also found, based on our past campaigns and those of others, that the percentage of conversions at the 48 hour mark has a lot to do with whether you are funded and how “stretched” your game is at that point. I bet there is a pretty strong correlation between percentage funded and percentage converted.

  6. “Thanks for the link to the complete “They created an amazing organic sharing system by allowing backers to follow creators and other backers” post. I agree with the unwelcome spammy aspect of receiving such notifications of projects backed by a creator you follow. ”
    I agree, especially if you follow a serial KS backer like Jamey ;) and it is the reason I recently put in a request to kickstarter to split the two options, it’s now in their we’ll look at it maybe, thanks for the idea pile but I figured if it was not asked for they wouldn’t even look at it.
    What is nice though is that (and I only recently discovered this) you can select on a individual followee level how you get the notification, whether just in your activity list or by emailm although some hints as to what the icons meant would be good, took a while to figure out what the one that looks like a cell (mobile) phone was actually the Activity list.

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