Traffic stats from a #2 post on Hacker News + Viral Loop

We submitted Kicksend to Hacker News last week and managed to hit the #2 position pretty quickly. Here’s the thread, in case you’re interested. The sudden surge of traffic was exhilarating (to say the least) – these kind of events definitely fall into the higher points of entrepreneurship.

Let’s talk a little bit about how we do analytics here at Kicksend. The homepage is hooked into multiple analytics apps. We use Clicky for realtime tracking, Google Analytics for history and KissMetrics for bi-weekly conversion tracking. Apart from coding, a lot of our time is spent using these three apps to dissect the traffic we get and get quantitive metrics of what we can improve. When we landed on the front page of HN, these three apps were watching, and we thought it’d be interesting to write about happened.

We were on the frontpage for about 8-10 hours, and were seeing around 150+ people on the site using Clicky at any given moment during peak traffic. At the same time, the viral loop we had in place was also bringing in a ton of additional folks, and continued to do so for many days afterwards. Our viral loop asked people to share on twitter, fb and email in exchange for VIP early-access (which we’ve been sending out since).

Here are the total stats from Google Analytics:


Here are the stats by domain. As you can see, only 5k+ hits are from HN, the rest are direct through the viral loop (mostly from Twitter). We have very limited search engine traffic at the moment.


Here’s the breakdown for Browser/OS


While the link was in play on HN, we also offered instant access to anybody who signed up with ‘+hn’ in their email and had them run through our signup flow. Our onboarding process includes the option of sending out six invites before downloading our desktop app, which drove in a lot more non-technical folks as well. Our conversion rate for referrals usually hovers around 25-30% (you can read more about virality here)

Kicksend is beautiful, simple realtime filesharing with an emphasis on getting non-technical folks to share more with the people they care about. 


  • Reply March 30, 2011

    IE Fan

    No IE on that graph! That is definitely wrong…

  • Reply March 30, 2011

    James Sullivan

    Interesting comment – there really is no IE there – how strange. Then again, I don’t know anyone using IE any more except for at companies where they require it (old gov contractors, old hr systems, etc.). Makes sense that if you’re into HN that you would be using a modern browser.

  • Reply March 31, 2011


    In my experience with a front page HN post, only 5% or less came from IE. Google analytics, per the screenshot above, only displays the top-10 browsers. The lowest percentage share was 6.21% Safari/iPhone, so my guess would be that IE fell at #11 or #12, unlabeled in the pie-chart and not listed in the top-10. It would be visible if the account-holder clicked the “next” button, not visible from the screenshot.

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