Thursday, March 2, 2017

Kickstarter’s Campaign Ranking Algorithm

Kickstarter’s platform algorithm is one reason why regular backers discover crowdfunding campaigns on the website.

The algorithm will show projects that are recommended for you, those that are popular, those that Facebook friends are following, and more.

On Kickstarter, there are a variety of searching options.

You can search by:

“Projects We Love”
Recommended For You
Saved Projects
Trending Projects
Nearly Funded Campaigns
Just Launched Campaigns
Backed By Friends
Category Tags

You can then sort your search with a few different algorithms including:

Magic Sort Popularity

Newest End Date
Most Funded
Most Backed

As you can see, there are a lot of ways for Kickstarter backers to discover new projects.

There are even advanced search features that will allow backers to find projects based on location!

The two items that I’d like to hone in on are “Projects We Love” and “Magic Sort.” Kickstarter has always been more of a curated crowdfunding platform than Indiegogo.

In fact, they used to highlight projects that were “Staff Picks.” They’ve replaced the staff pick category with a category named “Projects We Love.” The Kickstarter website states that, “Projects We Love is an evolution of Staff Picks, a feature we used in the past to connect creators and backers around best-in-class projects.

The difference is that Projects We Love automatically get a nice little badge, so that everyone can tell when we’re extra excited about a project.

Projects We Love are featured by a team that works to surface extra-bright projects.

 They're not paid endorsements, and like any other project, they retain complete creative independence.

Most simply, a Project We Love badge is a show of respect and enthusiasm from us at Kickstarter.”

Personally, I think one of the reasons they changed this is because Kickstarter creators were simply putting the “Kickstarter staff pick” badge on their project, even if they weren’t chosen by the website’s staff.

Haha, I actually wrote a long blog post about how to become a staff pick a while back, which some of my readers may have abused.

Hopefully not!

The reason that you want to become a part of this new category is twofold. First, Kickstarter sends out a newsletter every week featuring three campaigns in the Projects We Love category.

Second, whether or not you’re in this category will factor in to how your project is sorted in the Magic Algorithm, which I’ll go over briefly next.

I’ll also be talking about how to get featured in the Projects We Love category in a later post.

For those of you who don’t know, the Magic Sort is different from the popularity sort algorithm in that it “shows you what's bubbling up right now across categories and subcategories.”

The website goes on to say that the algorithm displays a “rotating cross section of compelling projects on Kickstarter by surfacing a mixture of Projects We Love and what's popular from each of our 15 categories.”

In my experience, because the Magic Sort tends to update more frequently than other algoalgorithms, you have a higher chance of being featured here early on than through other algorithms.

As you can see, while Kickstarter does showcase projects that are popular as measured by objective metrics, they also still have the curated aspect of the platform, where they highlight projects that they themselves like!

This is one big difference between Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Yes, Indiegogo does now have the “Indiegogo Team Favorites” section, but quite simply, different groups of people prefer different types of projects.


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