I’m designing/building a super lightweight user referral system, kicked off by some comments in discord  , 
- easy/breezy to refer someone and be referred
- easy/fast to build
assumptions (RE incentives)
Oftentimes, (airtable/dropbox/notion, etc). there’s a material benefit to referring, e.g. refer a friend and get the next month free, or get 20$ credit. This must work to some degree otherwise people wouldn’t keep doing it, but it has some issues:
- as mentioned in the forums, material/financial incentives taint the trustworthyness of the referral
- material incentives mostly benefit non-paying users, even though it’s users who already pay that are the best/most-aligned advocates
- kinopio should be good enough that people don’t need strong incentives to tell other people about it
the not so comprehensable details are in https://kinopio.club/referrer-spec-V8N0IbMey8YUfxWbjy4S_, but basically:
- user1 goes to share -> refer and gets a special url to share
- user2 visits the url and gets the normal welcome space – but with an added mention of the user that referred them
- once user2 signs up for an account (they don’t have to upgrade), user1 is granted a
you can click user badges to reveal a description about them (just did this part)
- going to share -> refer also lists the users you’ve referred to kinopio (for personal satisfaction)
- is there a better word than
referrer for this badge?
- anything i’m missing? is it too simple?
referrer feels weird… maybe something along the lines of
advocate or a synonym of that would make more sense. Might be less clear up front in regards to where it came from, but sounds nicer to my ears.
(This is just my individual opinion) I can’t think of a referral system that I’d be comfortable using. I think just the act of asking someone to use a specific link, it is going to suggest some ulterior motive. And it seems too much of a hassle to explain, “if you use this link, I get a cute badge, that’s it. Feel free to not use it.”
Maybe if the new user is intrinsically motivated to add my name somewhere in the flow ("(Optional) How’d you hear about Kinopio?"), but that seems like too much friction / asking too much.
From the perspective of a new user who sees a referral link, I’m also gonna be wondering, what is this person getting out of this? And (maybe cynically) I start to think this is some multi-level marketing thing. And I probably won’t take the time to research what the consequences of using a referral link are.
I don’t mean to be a party-pooper, and I hope my opinion doesn’t extend to others and that this helps get us more Kinopio subs
Might be less clear up front in regards to where it came from
i think because you can now click the user badges for an explanation that’s okay
From the perspective of a new user who sees a referral link, I’m also gonna be wondering, what is this person getting out of this?
I’m def interested in seeing if more ppl feel this way
dunno if this changes things but i was thinking of the referrer url being pretty minimal like kinopio.club?refferredBy=userID
(in your case I can also just manually give you the badge, you’ve already earned it )
I think ben makes a pretty good point here: “asking someone to use a specific link, it is going to suggest some ulterior motive” and i tend to agree. Without being explicit, this ulterior motive is always sort of that elephant in the room with all these “use my link” sorta things.
For me, it’s adding clarity. I know people who would almost certainly like using kinopio, but I’m not sure they would see the value after just one visit. I know I didn’t get it at first.
And so the way I see myself using this referral system is to just kinda follow up and be like do you love it yet? do you love it yet?
There is something strange about the interaction…
X: “That tool looks neat!”
S: “Yeah! It’s Kinopio, it does x y and z and I like it because r”
X: “How do I get it?”
S: “Kinopio.club! Oh, but use my affiliate link Kinopio.club?affiliate=stegriff because I get… nothing”
Ya I’m gonna abandon this for now - thanks for the feedback everyone !
the take-away lesson for me is that earning badges them should be passive achievements instead of transactional tasks – something you’d already do e.g. the act of collaborating with someone could earn you a ‘collaborator’ badge
hey thanks for taking the time to explore this. i agree, this feels like a dead end road.
i made my own referral board for now. it’s open if anyone wanted to mark their own