We've been busy this year... 2018 was all about product development, and we knew it was going to be a year to make some substantial improvements to the Giftwhale platform.
Our aim is to be as transparent and personal as we can with our users, and we want to share some of our 2018 stats with you all.
Please note, figures have been rounded (against our favour) for readability.
Our users We saw an increase in user sign-ups of over 400%, at the high end that was at a rate of one new user every 15 minutes. Although this stat may not water the eyes of some of the huge sites out there, it's a big achievement for us, and we are so happy so many of you are finding us.
The wish lists Wish lists for baby showers, birthday lists, Christmas wishes, graduations, moving house wish lists, and many more celebrations have been created through Giftwhale.
You've told us you love the simplicity and ease in creating wish lists on Giftwhale, and how we make it effortless to share with friends and family. Maybe this is why we saw an 820% increase in the number of wish lists created this year.
The items on your wish lists Items power Giftwhale, they are your gifts, ideas, dreams, and wishes. We loved that the number of items you created increased 675%.
We introduced the ability for you to add images to your items in November 2018. We knew you wanted it, but we didn't truly know how much. Once we released this feature, we saw the number of items increase, and since November, over 50% of all items created, now have an image to accompany it. Nice going!
Making friends Giftwhale is made for friends and family, and we were delighted to see a 950% increase in the number of you creating friendship connections through the platform. Giftwhale's wish lists become so useful for families, especially through busy periods such as Christmas - it's the reason we made it, and we're glad you think so too!
The number of messages sent through the internal messaging system increased 1300% - we like to think this was down to the improvements we've been making through the year, but maybe you were all just chattier this year! We've got a big update for chat in 2019, so keep your eyes peeled.
Global activity We saw the number of sessions increase on the site 360%, with the average session duration increase from 4 minutes, to 5 minutes. We're happy you're willing to spend that extra minute.
Location wise we saw increased uptake from many new parts of the world. Whereas in 2017, we focused our efforts on the United Kingdom, 2018 saw a big increase from many other parts of the world. You are now using Giftwhale from 138 countries, and we're happy to welcome you all. Some of the biggest increases came from the following countries:
138 countries - Välkommen. Bienvenue, Willkommen
Mobile first Mobile users now account for over 60% of all visits to the site (up from 49% in 2017). At the time of writing this, we have just released Giftwhale version 3.5 which improves the mobile experience further by cleaning up the wish list view, and adding some extra functionality for archiving items.
We have some big plans for mobile in 2019, and we'll be sharing more with you soon.
The code we wrote We've listened to every piece of feedback you've sent in throughout the year, whether that be through social channels, email, or support. Through feedback and collaboration, we can shape and mould Giftwhale to become even better. Through this feedback and following our carefully curated road-map we have brought countless new features and improvements to the platform in 2018. In the process of creating these changes, we wrote 18,662 lines of code this year.
That's over 2 lines of code, every hour, of every day in 2018.
Web Performance With all these new features and new lines of code, it can sometimes be the case that the new functionality begins to bloat an application and decrease performance. We've understood from day-one that performance matters (especially on mobile). With this in mind, by the end of 2018 we managed to reduce the average load time of the site from 4 seconds (not bad), to under 2 seconds. We'll continue to work on this, to ensure you get the best experience no matter where you are, and what you're using to view Giftwhale.
Thank you, everyone We want to say a sincere "thank you" to everyone who created a wish list, looked at a friend's list, reserved an item, left a message, or made a new friend, all through Giftwhale. We're looking to continue our growth in 2019 and already have some great new features lined-up to make the gifting experience even more enjoyable.