365 days all about.me – Some Reflections (and a Few Stats, Too)

by Tony Conrad and Ryan Freitas

It seems hard to believe that the passage of an entire year might catch you by surprise – in many ways, though, that’s where we find ourselves today. This past weekend marked the one year anniversary of launching about.me, a milestone that we almost neglected to celebrate in all the activity surrounding the end of the year. Time’s a bit funny like that, as we’re sure our amazingly talented development and community teams feel like it’s been several years given the amount of effort and energy expended over the last 365 days, but for us, it’s had a perfect pace. A bit frenetic, certainly, but consistently with clear purpose and reward.

We’re excited to share some data about our performance and achievements over the past year, but we’ll get to the stats in a bit. First, just a little history.

The story behind about.me’s acquisition is true; we launched on December 16, 2010 and were acquired 4 days later by Aol. As a team, we could not believe our good fortune. Like all Founders, the idea of an exit is both exciting and anxiety-provoking, and so we were a bit nervous about how the acquisition would impact the culture we’d built and the vision we had for our product. About.me was founded upon the idea of empowering everyone to take back control of their identity online through a set of simple tools to quickly build a personal and dynamic page. We wanted our users to use the page to point to all the elements their life online consists of (like WordPress, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, GitHub, Twitter, etc) – be it for personal use, or to create a professional online profile. It was, from the beginning, a simple concept that we executed with as much precision as our very talented team was able to bring to bear. Given the accelerating rate of adoption since we launched, we’ve been delighted knowing that our offering has struck a nerve with our audience.

Keeping a team together post-acquisition is challenging in any circumstance, and even more so with the current talent crunch across the technology sector. We are lucky to have assembled an amazing team. This has not gone unremarked by other companies, if the weekly attempts at hiring them out from under us are any indication. In the face of all that, we are both happy to report that 100% of the launch team and every incredible contributor who has joined us since remains engaged and true to the same culture and vision that we founded this company with. We work hard, and we do it at odd hours from all across the US and the world, and it works brilliantly. Maintaining our team, our identity and our culture is our greatest accomplishment in 2011 and it speaks to the enthusiasm we all share for the original vision of about.me. A hearty thank you to our product, development, community & outreach teams who have designed, built & exposed millions of users to a beautiful product that scales, one that is more interesting and engaging with each weekly code release.

Our vision and team have been the driving forces behind a phenomenal first year. Our 1M+ registered users make amazing pages, they share stories, they support causes, they search for jobs, they announce babies – and with each new page, that’s someone else taking control of their own identity, drawing a clear distinction between who they are and the shares, tweets, photos, posts and everything else they contribute online. Along the way:

15M+ Personal Cards have been created with Moo
75k+ about.me email addresses have been established …
20M+ people visited 57M+ profiles …

And just for the fun of it, some geeky details:

Chrome was our most popular browser (33%), followed by Firefox (25%), IE (20%) and Safari (15%)…
Direct traffic represented 39% of our visits, followed by Twitter (23%), Google (17%), Facebook (15%) and Linked-In (6%)…
KISSinsights was our most effective customer acquisition tool, accounting for over 20% of all new sign-ups…

2011 has been an incredible year for about.me as a team and a product, with a great deal of effort put forward to extend our success into 2012 and beyond. The enthusiasm of our audience for about.me has been one of the greatest rewards any of us have ever achieved, and we look forward to keeping them delighted with us and what we build as the product matures. As we wrap up our first year at AOL, we re-commit ourselves to the culture and vision that lays at the root of our success, and applaud our team for all of the hard work that has gotten us here.

Best wishes for 2012,
Tony and Ryan

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