Check your Kickstarter.com front page! Has it changed? Mine is showing Tokyo, Japan just below “the fold”! Does this mean Kickstarter has opened to International projects? Not yet! At least not according to their project submission page:
- You are a permanent US resident with a Social Security Number (or EIN).
- You have a US address, US bank account, and US state-issued ID (driver’s license).
- You have a major US credit or debit card.
Still, this is the first major overhaul of Kickstarter’s front page and it definitely points toward an international expansion in the near future! Design-wise however, I think it’s an eye-sore. I even questioned my eyes and started thinking may be I’ve hit their staging server!
The other major change is the “Your Friends” tab, which was implented in late March. My personal observation is that it had significantly brought up the inactive backers’ return rate, resulting in overall higher project funded amount!
“Inactive Backers” were probably one of the main hurdles Kickstarter needed to overcome. People who came across a cool project reported on the web, came to Kickstarter to back it, but then never returned to back another project! So far Kickstarter had done a great job curating their front page to keep it fresh and interesting, but from a user’s point of view, it’s still a hit and miss. The new “Your friend backed X project” email has been amazing to me! I began recieving news about what my friends are backing and it had prompted me to back a couple of projects myself! (Even though I’m a big fan of Kickstarter, I belong to one of those “inactive backers” bunch.) Another thing that struck me was how prolific some of my friends are, almost everyday I see a few of them backing a wide range of projects! This has been interesting as well, as before this Kickstarter was sending out their own “Projects We Love” emails, which was a complete flop, nobody gives a shit! Now, I’ll open each of those emails to see what my friends have backed, again!!
Still, I think Kickstarter can take a page from what I did for Makible on this! Backing a project is a highly personal experience and we’d like to share with our friends “Why am I backing this project!” So, allow backers to write a message after the backing process, and then include that message in the email sent out to his friends! This has been one of the most praised feature of Makible.com.