After spending the last three days coding our YC-interview demo, Wesley, Ajay and I decided to submit our project Readstream to Hacker News at 6 AM after an all-night coding session. Readstream is a fully-featured, socially curated stream of all the links brought to you by your Twitter timeline. Basically what we do is go into your Twitter timeline, find all of the articles linked to by the people you follow, and then present them to you in a format that allows you to quickly scan through and read the things that interest you.
For the first 30 or so minutes after we submitted it we barely got any upvotes. Then upvotes slowly started trickling in. Eventually we made it to the front page. And then we were in the #1 position. Wesley and I were high-fiving and smiling, responding to comments, and watching our Chartbeat go crazy. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of finishing a long night of coding, being absolutely exhausted, and then watching your project climb to the top of Hacker News. That’s a feeling you have to hold on to.
And now, without further ado:
After being on the front page for approximately 6 hours, and being at the number one spot for about an hour (albeit early in the morning) we got 5,733 pageviews, 3,698 absolute unique visitors and a 66% bounce rate.
One thing I noticed was that the bounce rate was a little higher than I would like. We thought that by throwing up an intriguing headline, and giving a little descriptive paragraph people would be ready and willing to sign up. And they were. But we also got a lot of people on Hacker News asking us to give them a way to see the app without using their accounts first. So lesson learned: don’t make people login with their Twitter accounts to find out exactly how the app works. Provide a video demo, or some other means of previewing to allow people to see the app before entering their person information.
Besides this I think the most interesting statstics come from our database. We signed up 720 users in our first day, and those users viewed over 12 thousand articles! That’s an average of over 16 articles per user. Good stuff!
So if you haven’t checked out our app yet you should try it out at ReadstreamApp.com. We think you’ll love it.
I’ll have a more detailed post up later, but for now check out our newest app: Readstream. Basically the app takes your Twitter stream, gets all of the links from it, and presents you with a beautiful and constantly updated flow of articles from the people you follow on Twitter. Check it out, I think you’ll really like it.
So a few nights ago we released the Grim Tweeper as the easy way to clean out your twitter follow list. The basic concept is that we follow too many people on Twitter that really don’t have that much relevance to us. The Grim Tweeper let’s you quickly and easily get rid of them. It also has a pretty fun interface if I do say so myself.
We got some pretty good traction the first day, but since then our traffic has died out to a good degree. I think this goes to show that for a product like this to succeed (a small one-time app) it has to be seen by the right person. Sure every once in a while a very simple one-time use app will have such a great viral loop that it can organically grow itself out of obscurity. But in order for something like this to get popular it has to get mentioned by a big site. We submitted to a few big places, but we’re still waiting.
The best thing about it is it only took us two days to do. So if it doesn’t get popular soon we can just get on to the next one.
Lest you think our team has been sitting on its laurels after the success of WhereMyFriends.Be, I’d like to show you what we have been up to for the past few weeks.
First we coded and released TastePlug which allows you to easily create a todo list for your music. It works by allowing you to text songs that you want to remember to our site. These songs are then saved on a profile page for you to view and download later. This is a pretty cool project that people seem to like, so stay tuned for the next iteration coming soon.
After Tasteplug we took a break for a few days, but over the last few nights we threw together The Grim Tweeper. The basic premise behind The Grim Tweeper is to allow you to easily clean up the list of people you follow on Twitter. I don’t know about you, but I definitely have at least a few people that I follow who I don’t really care about. Either they post spammy links way too frequently, or they like to talk about topics that I have no interest in. Either way it’s always good to clean out your follow list, and this is what The Grim Tweeper is all about.
All you have to do is log in and you are presented with the profile of someone you are following on Twitter. If you want to keep this person as a follower you press Keep. If you want to unfollow him you press Kill. And it’s as simple as that!