A Few Recent Updates to the Kickstarter Platform

7 October 2019 | 19 Comments

Kickstarter continues to refine their platform, and I thought I’d highlight some of the main changes and my thoughts on them.

“Teaser” Option for the Preview Page

Before a creator launches a project, they have the ability to share a preview page link with anyone. Previously, the preview page was the full project page. This was great for proofreading, but not so great if you just wanted people to see a few highlights and click the “notify me upon launch” button.

Now they’ve added a different sharing option to cater to the “notify me” folks. I saw an example of it the other day and can’t find it now, but it seems to only include the main project image, the creator name, and maybe the funding goal? I think this is a really elegant solution so that creators can generate interest in the project in advance and potential backers can get a notification immediately upon launch without having to subscribe to anything.

Creators can also now generate the final URL for their project before launching in case they need to share it with the press or others (though the preview link will still redirect to the project page when it goes live).

Embed Social Media Content

Creators can now integrate embedded content from Instagram, Facebook Live, and other platforms into the project page and even updates. I think this is fantastic (and probably long overdue). It’s a more organic way to inform backers of your online presence than by constantly reminding them that you’re on Instagram, Facebook, etc.

Threaded Comments!

I think this is old news at this point, but it’s still exciting that the main comments section now includes the ability to reply to specific comments and display them indented under those comments instead of as one long continuous thread.

***

Am I missing anything? How do you feel about these updates?

If you gain value from the 100 articles Jamey publishes on his blog each year, please consider championing this content!

19 Comments on “A Few Recent Updates to the Kickstarter Platform

  1. Theaded comments are fantastic. But, they are dragging the chain with implementing this change in the KS app, at least on the iPad. Seems a backward way of approaching it. I also really like the preview page sneak peak. If the page is finished it really gives you an idea if you would like to know more, back on day 1 etc. it’s a great idea and I backed a few games on the basis of knowing something about the game prior and being notified.

    1. Exactly. Their mobile apps take a considerable back seat to the web app. Threaded comments certainly cannot be _that_ difficult to implement on mobile, especially because the data obviously supports it since the website has had threaded comments for many months now.

      1. The mobile team is focusing on some really big projects. I’m sure that comment threading is on the horizon, but there’s some cool stuff that requires a lot of infrastructure that they’re focusing on.

  2. Since we’re on the topic of KS, I’m wondering if you could give a guess as to the effects the labor dispute within Kickstarter’s team will have on developers trying to fund projects.

      1. It might make some people not back anything on Kickstarter (i.e. fewer backers) and for some using Kickstarter during the dispute might be seen as immoral and thus tarnish the name of the creator.

        Just to be clear to anyone reading this: This is not me stating my opinion on the dispute nor is it me stating the position of my employer, Stonemaier Games, on the matter.

  3. Definite improvements.

    Jamey, I’d love to get your insights into a new site I discovered called Game On Tabletop (https://www.gameontabletop.com/).

    It is a new site that is billing itself as the all-in-one solution for TableTop crowdfunding. There is a pledge manager included in the cost, along with solutions for fulfillment and manufacturing.

    It will have a long way to go to compete with Kickstarter, but looks like an interesting alternative.

    Perhaps a future article idea?

    1. Kickstarter’s biggest assets are its community and its expertise in the space. For the time being, that’s going to be something that’s hard to replicate by another platform.

      1. Oh, don’t get me wrong, Jamey. It’s not my site. I have zero involvement. Someone just happened to mention it in a group.

        I know you wrote and article on Breadmaker Games, which had a similar premise, in the past. I wondered if a review of this platform might make for a good article for you.

  4. ” I saw an example of it the other day and can’t find it now”

    Maybe you are referring to “Ruins of Mars”? It got my attention as well, I left it on an open tab till launch just to count the (visible) “saved” clicks, but a refresh on launch day I lost the preview link. I wanted to make an observation about the ratio of saved VS 1-day backers, I guess I will have to wait for the creator to discuss it , else at my next project at Q2 2020..

  5. As someone who still advises on KS to myriad creators, I’m thrilled that the platform continues to evolve as the needs of both creators and backers grows and evolves over time.

  6. I’m not a fan of threaded comments.

    A system like that works well when there’s either few comments in total or there’s a way to quickly identify new comments.

    On a campaign with lots of comments replies won’t even be displayed on the first batch of comments shown because the original comment has been pushed out and so they’ll easily be overlooked.

    Not only can this be an inconvenience for backers and creators, but more importantly for creators it might make you overlook questions from backers, which can make them feel like you ignore them.

    It’s made worse by the mobile app not supporting replies (as mentioned by Dave), which means that you can write a reply on the web app in the context of the comment you’re replying to, but when read on the mobile app it appears without that context which sometimes leads to incomprehensible comments.

    Note: I don’t know whether changes that address these points have been made since the last time I used the reply function.

  7. What are they thinking with the Pre-launch page? That seems to be way too little information to be useful.

    Without at least enabling the project video or allowing for some custom text, this can’t possibly be enough to attract people to sign up to be notified unless you already shared additional information elsewhere and are just using this page as a sign up form… but then is this even the best solution for that?

    I could see how it might be helpful to people that don’t want to create their own website for a new project but with so many great drag and drop landing page builders out there, not to mention WordPress, this feature needs a little more.

    Thoughts?

Leave a Comment

© 2019 Stonemaier Games