Kickstarter is using big data to simplify its approval policy for new campaigns. As well as shortening its list of rules and requirements, the Kickstarter team have announced the beginning of ‘Launch Now’ button, bypassing the human approval round normally required to launch a Kickstarter campaign.
Instead, illegal and ill-thought-out campaigns will be filtered out by an algorithm, which uses thousands of data points to determine a project’s legitimacy. Using metrics such as project’s description, rewards, funding goal, and the creator’s past successes/failures on campaigns, the algorithm compares the proposed campaign to previous initiatives, and whether those initiatives have been approved, rejected, or removed.
A statement from Kickstarter expands: “The longterm health and integrity of Kickstarter drives everything we do. We’ll continue to actively govern the site with thought and care. Projects will be reviewed by a sophisticated algorithm we developed over the course of years that looks at thousands of data points. And our Moderation and Trust & Safety teams are focused on making sure everyone on Kickstarter is following the rules.”
‘Launch Now’ will roll out in stages, initially handling 60% of applications. The rest will be submitted for traditional human review. Projects that qualify for ‘Launch Now’ also have the option to submit their application for human review, and receive feedback and advice from the Kickstarter team.
Although Kickstarter and crowdfunding have become synonymous in any of our minds, Kickstarter are far from having a monopoly in this field. Indiegogo, whose acceptance policies are much less stringent than Kickstarter’s, raised $40 million in investment earlier this year, the largest financing round for any crowdfunding startup. It is hoped that the ‘Launch Now’ feature will mean more Kickstarter projects are accepted, allowing them to keep pace with their open-door competitors.
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