Patreon announces API, two-factor authorization, and more
Patreon made a couple very interesting announcements yesterday. They’ve released an API, and they’re introducing two-factor authorization. Plus, they’re making advances on their discovery functionality, and they have some insight on why patrons leave.
Here’s why you need to know.
The Patreon API will enable you to create a widget for your website and more. Specifically:
- “Log in with Patreon” functionality to put on your website
Your patrons can click a button on your site, and then your site gets to know whether or not they’re a patron & how much they’re pledging (along with profile photo, name, email, etc.)
- A “fetch me my patron’s info plz” endpoint
Get back a list of every patron currently pledging to you, along with how much they’re pledging, etc.
- “Become my patron” embeddable button/widget
You can now add the “become a patron” button directly on your website that’ll direct potential patrons right to the pledge flow to become your patron!
- WebHooks aka “Ping me when I get a new Patron”
Be notified every time you get a new patron.
This is far from plug-and-play. Unless you’re very comfortable with coding, you’re not going to be able to do this without help. However, it’s a major step in setting up a patrons-only section of your own Web site, and that’s something that many of us who feel encumbered by Patreon’s user experience will embrace.
Patreon is also tightening up security with two-factor authorization. For more info on how to set that up, click here.
Patreon is somewhat weak on the issue of discovery. Speaking from personal experience, I would estimate that well over 90% of the people who support me on Patreon signed up with the service specifically to back my campaign. In other words, when they joined, I could see that they had just created an account, and they were backing no other creators. That’s very nice, but, with good discovery functionality, Patreon should be exposing patrons of other campaigns to my work. I should be gaining patrons who support similar content. (And my backers, likewise, should be exposed to other creators as well.)
Therefore, it’s good to hear that Patreon has started sending e-mail blasts to patrons that are targeted by the types of campaigns those patrons are already supporting.
Why Do Patrons Leave?
Finally, Patreon shared some research. From their press release:
When we asked patrons why they deleted their pledges, the top reason—by a wide margin—was, “my financial situation changed.” As shown below, patrons also indicated that they “only intended to pledge for a limited time” and “the creator wasn’t engaging like I expected.”
This dovetails almost perfectly with my own personal findings. Patreon offers the following advice, geared towards patron-retention:
With this in mind, we started brainstorming ways you can improve your patron retention:
- Maintain engagement by creating at least a few public and patron-only (unpaid) posts each month
- Show patrons why their sustained support matters to you (be creative, as always)
- Remind patrons that any amount helps, large or small
There’s nobody who knows your patrons better than you! That’s why we’re launching a new Creator Dashboard that makes these survey results (and some other useful data) available to you 24/7. We tested an early prototype with 20 creators last week and we plan to roll-out an initial version to all creators over the course of December. Stay tuned for updates!
More security, more functionality, and more information — it’s all good to hear! I’m very optimistic about what Patreon has in store for 2016.