While Kickstarter projects have already raised over $1 billion dollars collectively, the site is still growing considerably as more and more people are starting their first crowdfunding campaign or even launching their second or third. To keep up with this growth, the company has decided to make it even easier to launch your campaign, and they've also greatly simplified their rules to help you understand what kinds of projects are allowed on the site.
Here is how Launch Now works, which is only currently available for 60% of projects, but will be rolling out to more in the coming weeks:
The feature uses an algorithm incorporating thousands of data points to check whether a project is ready to launch — things like the project’s description, rewards, funding goal, and whether the creator has previously launched a project.
If the project qualifies for Launch Now, the creator can go live whenever they’re ready. If the creator wants to connect with someone at Kickstarter, we’ll review the project and offer our feedback and advice.
If a project doesn’t qualify for Launch Now, the creator will need to share the project with us for a review before it can launch.
And these are the new simplified rules:
- Projects must create something to share with others.
Kickstarter can be used to create all sorts of things: art and gadgets, events and spaces, ideas and experiences. But every project needs a plan for creating something and sharing it with the world. At some point, the creator should be able to say: “It’s finished. Here’s what we created. Enjoy!”
- Projects must be honest and clearly presented.
Our community is built on trust and communication. Projects can’t mislead people or misrepresent facts, and creators should be candid about what they plan to accomplish. When a project involves manufacturing and distributing something complex, like a gadget, we require projects to show a prototype of what they’re making, and we prohibit photorealistic renderings.
- Projects can’t fundraise for charity, offer financial incentives, or involve prohibited items.
We’re all in favor of charity and investment, but they’re not permitted on Kickstarter. Projects can’t promise to donate funds raised to a charity or cause, and they can’t offer financial incentives like equity or repayment. We also can’t allow any of these prohibited things.
They still require you to show some sort of prototype if you are making a project, which is something they introduced back in 2012 to help cut down on fraud and give people a realistic idea that the product you're funding would match the product you eventually release to backers. What will probably come as great news to those same projects, creators will be able to offer multiple quantities of a reward, instead of the single quantities restriction that was introduced in their previous major rules change.
For filmmakers and other video creators, not too much is different, but the Launch Now feature should be helpful for those who are looking for a little guidance in starting a campaign.
To read more about these changes, head on over to the Kickstarter blog.