Appnews launch week results

Appnews.net is up for a week. Yay.

In such a short time it had easily surpassed (in some aspects) Rarst.net and generated plenty of interesting stats and opinions to crunch.


Site itself went up almost perfect except two minor issues – broken twitter buttons and I accidentally rolled back footer from final version.

But @appnews mirror on Twitter was complete wreck. I hadn’t setup it earlier and when I did – it had been right in the middle of twitterfeed having ton of issues. At first nothing worked, then overnight items went up with dead links because something went wrong with my bit.ly API setup. Twitter launch fizzled, will see if that part recovers with time.


With minimal initial push (introduction posts on participating blogs) Appnews growth in first week was outright explosive.



As of now it almost reached thousand subscribers (not counting half hundred followers on Twitter). Site displayed very high subscription rate (over 30% of unique visitors).

Freeware Genius was main traffic driver - accounted for 50%, with next highest gHacks sending only 6%.


Aside from introduction posts:

it hadn’t made much of a splash. Some short posts went up:

No one of larger crowd that so likes to pillage gHacks and Freeware Genius for topics took notice. Too personal of a project I guess.


There are three types of feedback project got:

  • whatever it is – it’s cool you guys are making it;
  • it seems useful and time saving;
  • it sucks comparing to [software portal of choice].

So main motivators are trust to favorite blogs and narrow focus.

Main de-motivator is also narrow focus.

As one of my long time readers @fernandoariotti put it in his tweet:

A time saver for anyone who’s interested in good app and doesn’t have time to read the 3 blogs

Well, I’d prefer people still read blogs but time saving theme is perceived large in Appnews. :)

Design is secondary feedback topic. In this week I was informed that Appnews looks great, boring, good, nicely minimalistic, too wordy, lacking color and fucking ugly.

Well that design obviously doesn’t get in a way of conversions and cost us nothing (kudos to TheBuckmaker and GPL). Gets job done.


There are quite a few various offers and suggestions piled up already. It’s too early to decide strategic course and a some requests are very complex comparing to current Appnews setup.

Personally I want to try widget/informer angle but no promises on that.


Going good! :)

So had you subscribed to Appnews yet? What’s your take on service?

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  • Seelenwahnsinn #

    Congratulations on AppNews' first week and impressive growth. I wanted to give a design feedback on my tweet but I had to cut (as I said, I'm still getting used to the character limitation on Tweeter). I was shocked at first glance, since black layouts are vanishing from the web. In my opinion, the black background is great and the stripes give it a fresh, modern look. I personally enjoyed the buttons located on the right side of the post (download, e-mail, etc). My only complain about the design is the banner. This font style is ok for text but it doesn't work for titles. Keep up with the good work and I'm sure a lot of good things will result from it.
  • Rarst #

    @Seelenwahnsinn There are still quite a few dark backgrounds around I think. And stripes are... well stripes. They are more eternal then modern. :) Small know-how about banner - it was not made as image. It was made as tiny web page and screenshoted. :) That's my personal techinque for making images because I have absolutely no skills for raster drawing. Need to do a post on it.
  • Seelenwahnsinn #

    Yeah, but the number of dark backgrounds is decreasing drastically. Look a few years back in time, it used to be very common, now it's worth of notes. And stripes are getting modern again, as you may observe, not only on the web. I used to play making banners and stuff like that some years ago. Maybe if you guys have an idea about the banner design I can see what I can do. Can't promess you anything (I'm in lack of time and creativity), but get in touch if you think it's worth a shot.
  • Rarst #

    @Seelenwahnsinn We are not actually advertising Appnews so I guess having good banner is of no great concern at moment. :) Again - free and gets job done.
  • Seelenwahnsinn #

    Heh, I understand. I'll keep my offer anyway (and by the way, I wasn't thinking about charging for it if that's what you thought), just get in touch if you think I can help out somehow in the future. ;)
  • Appnews Stats After A Week #

    [...] have started Appnews, a software update service, about a week ago and Rarst was so nice to compile a few stats after the first seven days of service. If you have not heard [...]
  • Terry #

    I think it rocks! I love the whole stripe thing you got going on there. A suggestion though: It would be totally awesome imho if I can click on that download link and it does not take me to another page but automatically downloads the software I wanted.
  • Rarst #

    @Terry I had tried different approaches to download link and we decided on linking to download page. - Not all software provides direct download links. - Some projects hosted on services like Sourceforge have geolocation that redirects to nearest download server. Providing direct link for such would mean people far from specific server would get terrible download speed. - Some developers frown on direct links to their software from 3rd party sites, looking up if this is an issue for each software title would add too much unproductive overhead to process. I like direct links myself but these issues forced against using them in the end. Thanks for your input and I hope Appnews will serve you well. :)
  • Terry #

    Ow, so that's why. Now that I understand all the things that you considered, I feel like I brought up a stupid suggestion. LOL And yeah, Appnews is serving me well. As I type this, I'm downloading Photoshop SpeedUp 1.00. Thanks!
  • Rarst #

    @Terry There is no such thing as stupid question! :) Appnews is very young service, tailored for our readers - so we are very willing to hear feedback from them.