I am not a big fan of corporate fluffy words. I think most of you are adults and should be treated as such, so, I’ll be straightforward with you: We have to start generating revenue if we are to keep Voat running, open, and free.
Your generous donations have helped keep Voat afloat (and at times brought tears in my eyes) for far too long (looking back, I can’t believe I purchased voat.co domain back in 2014), and both me and @PuttItOut have agreed that asking for donations is not something we want to keep doing; It just doesn’t feel right. Voat was originally a side-project and I think that Voat has turned into something pretty damn amazing. As of March 2016, Voat had a total of 309.960 registered user accounts, over 800.000 unique monthly visitors, 125.281.033 requests, transferred 913 GB of data/month, a total of 918.886 submissions, 9.784.388 submission votes, 4.724.905 comments and 13.574.029 comment votes.
Voat has been mentioned in Wired UK, Business Insider, Time, The Verge, Marketwatch, International Business Times, Ilta-Sanomat, Washington Post, Forbes, The Guardian, Vice Motherboard, Le Monde, The Independent, Venturebeat, Mashable, BBC, Coin Telegraph, The Christian Science Monitor, Fortune, Daily Dot, CNET, Engadget… We have had interview requests from Bloomberg TV, Swiss national TV, BBC and about 30 other, all of which we’ve declined because we had to work hard to bring Voat back online and keep it running. Running and maintaining Voat takes time, a lot of time.
We also received a ton of inquiries from investors, but for what it’s worth, we never accepted any offers as most investors simply didn’t share our vision.
So, what is our ultimate goal and the point of this announcement? We want to be able to work full time on Voat. We love Voat, we love doing what we do and we want to focus all of our energy on Voat. We’ve spent a lot of time writing a new Voat API which will eventually help replace all existing logic and open the door to 3rd party developers to create fully functional mobile applications as well as allow us to implement new & meaningful features. This effort will also help us bring the costs of hosting Voat down, way down, but we don’t think that it will be possible to go lower than 5k/month in operating costs in the near future. We think there is a lot of room for improvement and innovation (we have a bunch of really weird ideas) and we’d love dedicate our attention full time to Voat and this community.
To this end, we will start selling sidebar ad space. Our ad criteria are very strict. Ads cannot have animations, ads cannot embed 3rd party scripts. We will not track ad impressions and we won’t track clicks on the ads. We will offer 2 types of ads: site-wide default ads, and single subverse ads. Demand will dictate the pricing. For more information about advertising on Voat visit https://voat.co/advertize
As a courtesy to everyone who donated, we will allow you to turn-off ads in your user preferences (pending a software update), but of course you are always free to block our ads.
So, what do you guys think? Are we doing the right thing?