Kickstarter needs little introduction. The US-based crowdfunding platform has hit the headlines on a number of occasions in recent times, for some of the quirky and cool projects that have gained funding through it, and it finally launched outside the US last year, notching up more than $3m worth of pledges for UK projects in its first month.
And now, Kickstarter has kickstarted its own mobile offensive, launching an iOS app to let funders keep tabs on the latest quirky prototypes and crazy ideas looking to secure capital from the global masses, as well as help project-owners track interest in their initiatives.
Kickstarter goes mobile
The app reels in most of the functionality you’d expect, but it has been completely tailored for the iPhone, letting you search for new projects, receive updates from projects you’re backing and even watch the associated videos.
Indeed, you can watch the video either in portrait mode alongside the project description, or swivel into landscape to get the full-screen experience.
The app can also detect your location and serve up projects ‘nearby’, which in my case was the UK.
It will then deliver notifications when someone backs your project, or a Facebook friend starts backing a project (you can connect directly with the social network through the app). Plus, there’s a dedicated ‘Activity’ tab which tracks all your Kickstarter-related actions, such as projects you’re currently backing.
When you decide to back a project, you can do so directly from within the app (assuming you have an account set-up). Click the ‘Back this project’ button, and then follow the steps to indicate your desired level of involvement.
For project-owners, well, this is clearly a great way to continue to network and stay connected with backers/potential backers on the move, as well as tracking progress as the deadline nears. And they can also take snaps and videos with their iPhone camera and post them directly to the project page.
It’s optimized for iPhone and iPod touch, though it will still work on iPad in the usual reduced-size format.
“We took things we’ve learned from the past three years of building the site, and applied them to a total redesign for the iPhone,” it continues. “We redesigned the project page, browse pages, and others. And we focused on making three things really useful and fun: finding new projects, keeping up to date with projects you’ve backed, and offering great tools for creators.”
Kickstarter has seen a sharp growth in recent times, and perhaps one of the most high-profile projects to get off the ground thanks to the crowdfunding platform was Pebble, a slick e-paper smartwatch that connects to iOS and Android devices.
It broke all kinds of funding records, finally passing $10m in pledges in May, thanks to almost 70,000 backers. All watches were sold, and this helped to show the potential for crowdfunding as a means of getting great ideas off the ground. Animation pioneer Bill Plympton even took to Kickstarter to fund his new feature film.
While the mobile app is iOS only for now, it’s safe to say an Android incarnation will follow in due course, as will an iPad-optimized version.
Feature Image Credit – AFP/Getty
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