It’s that time of the year again, our 7th Quarterly report into ClickASnaps’ progress. Firstly, the good news: These last 3 months have seen some staggering improvements to the site, including a complete redevelopment and redesign of our product management area, a complete revamp of our mobile usability and leaps and bounds in our speed and consequently SEO results, as well as leading to large uplifts in retention and usability.
Whilst not exactly bad news, unfortunately the Open Book Launch challenge we entered decided to change the goalposts, and whilst we are very happy that we got to the final top 20 start-ups out of many hundreds, the Open Book Launch Challenge founder, Jason Calacanis, decided to extend the competition indefinitely instead of as a one off. So, there is still a chance that investment may come through, however, they are looking for growth rates in the region of 10% week on week and when we hit those sort of growth rates we wouldn’t be giving away 5% of the company for a $100,000 I assure you, particularly with the revenue streams we have in place already. Whilst investment has, and will continue to help us grow a lot faster, the company is not reliant on it to exist which I believe is exceptionally important to the stability and longevity of ClickASnap. Any funding shortfalls that do exist will continue to be made up by me, I fully believe in this project and as always, am prepared to put my money where my mouth is.
What have we done?
Significantly improved mobile usability of the platform. This Includes the upload area, picture management area, shop management area and setting your photos up for sale. Whereas before one could upload an image on mobile but would have to find a desktop to put it up for sale in their shop, this is no longer the case. A user can upload an image from their mobile, put it into their shop and have it sold to their client in a whole range of formats within minutes of taking the image.
A significant amount of capital has been invested in speeding specific areas of the site up, these are the main landing page, the feed and users image pages. We reduced the loading time for the main image page from 6.8 seconds to 1.5 seconds, the data usage from 15.5mb to 1.6mb and the database requests from 648 to 156. The feed loading time has been reduced from circa 48 seconds to 6.7 seconds, data has been reduced from 15.6mb to 1.65mb and requests from 749 to 165. These are staggering speed improvements and we are already seeing the results from them in our retention times, page navigation and sessions. As an aside to the speed improvements, an average of 15mb per page load has been saved, that may not sound like a lot but, even on a slow month both those pages are ‘hit’ 60,000 times which currently saves us 900 GB or circa $81 a month. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but add a couple of zeros onto the end of that 60,000 and it becomes very large, very quickly, I am not going to bore the readers with the difference server requests make but they also cost us money, needless to say a ~90% reduction is significant
User product management area:
A completely redesigned photo management area for user shops. The previous area was very much an MVP and it was time to go ahead and completely redevelop this area, as admittedly, it was a real pain to use. The new area has been taken extremely well and feedback has been very good so far.We went through the platform and fixed many outstanding bugs, there are now less than 10 known bugs to be addressed in the near future
Search Engine Optimisation work:
We doubled down on SEO back-links and have over 200 high quality domains talking about us and linking to the site. If you include No Follow links we’re now at 647. This has increased our average keyword position as well as our Moz ranks and associated metrics. Unfortunately, gaining traction in SERPS is a long-term game and cannot be done overnight regardless of how much funding is thrown at it.
World leading Image theft prevention technology:
We are, to our knowledge, the worlds’ first platform to introduce image protection technology exceeding the ‘right click’ to download prevention. Our tech for Pro accounts now stops users using the ubiquitous ‘Print Screen’ button on a Pc users keyboard to steal an image. We plan to further develop this and address further methods of reducing image theft
Mike Browne introduction video:
As many of you may be aware, world famous Photographer Mike Browne is heavily involved in Clickasnap. So, we thought it was about time we redid our introduction video, and as you can see below, Mike did an excellent job of it! This video is now used on our landing page, and we have a link from our main page to this video so users coming to the site can get a quick over view of just what ClickASnap is all about
Over Q3 we had 33,456 unique users who visited the platform 92,741 times. Our average session duration jumped a whopping 3:55 minutes to 10:22 per user, our average page users per session jumped 4.01% to 13.4 and sessions per user jumped a whopping 72.81% to 2.90. Total images viewed was 1,252,588
We had 817 new users sign up to the site making a total of 13,837 content contributors adding 32,275 new images to the platform making a total of 392,365. At this moment in time apart from long term SEO promotion no active advertising is in place, with funding being spent on development.
Growth is slow but steady, building ClickASnap is going to be a longer term project. Users have to be convinced to move from existing photo hosting platforms that have been around for 10+ years to a relatively new hosting platform, that as far as they are concerned, may well not be here next year. We are still in the early adopter stage, but revenue is growing nicely and being continually reinvested into the platform to fuel further growth.
Running up to Christmas we plan to launch a new Business tier, which will be charged at £7.50 a month or £75 annually. All our existing annually subscribed pro accounts will be upgraded to this tier for free as the feedback will be invaluable. This new tier will include automated posting systems, so users only need to connect their Twitter and Facebook accounts, set a time interval and our software will pick a photo and distribute it to their social media every hour, 2 hours etc dependent on what the user has set. This new tier will also include the ability to connect with Pinterest (the second largest driver of traffic after Facebook) Our software will use either the automated tagging system and/or your tags to create a board relevant to the photo, and post your photo to it, if the board already exists it will then simply add the image to the board. With several hundred accounts automatically having their content promoted, potentially hourly, to many tens of thousands of people we expect a huge uplift in traffic from it. In fact, during experimentation this week, ran on the recently uploaded images, we saw 200 new users per day based on just our Clickasnap Twitter account. Two further additions to this tier will be the option to add your own Google Analytics code so you can see where all your traffic comes from, top performing images etc and the ability to turn off adverts on your images for your viewers, so they can have ad free browsing too, unfortunately this does remove your paid views as without ads the revenue per image view does not scale, but some users have asked for it so it will be added in.
Social media integration will also be added to all other tiers, so that if a user so chooses, when they upload a photo it is automatically sent to their Facebook pages and Twitter account should they have one.
Thank you for your time in reading this and I hope you continue to enjoy using the platform
As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me