looking at usage stats & reflecting on growth ofPunjabi Wordle
📅 december 16, 2022
In February of 2022, Punjabi Wordle went live. We're at the end of the year - it's a good time to review topics like:
As usual, I like to reflect on these posts later, but I also decided early on I'd only track the data if I committed to publish it later too. There's also always the off-chance someone else is working on a side project and curious about how the outreach went. All the stats and graphs below cover the timeframe February 2022 to December 2022.
Soon after shipping the game itself, I added simple telemetry. I wanted to understand usage without anything too intrusive - it's just a game. I looked at some options and settled onGoatCounter.It's open-source and doesn't use any cookies. I set up URL tracking and also manually configured events in the game code.
There are two stats I looked at - the first is general visits. This is every time someone visits the page. If someone clicks refresh 50 times, visits go up. So it doesn't map directly to people. But it's helpful for general trends.
Between February and December, overall daily visits peaked at 979 and slowly dropped to 100. Here's a picture:
The second stat I care about is "won games." This only increases if someone guesses the word right. Since you can only play Wordle once a day in daily mode, I consider "10 daily won games" to mean "10 people".
Between February and December, "daily won games" peaked at 131 and fell to 50. This means there are still 50 people guessing the word right even today. It's not a huge number but I am excited people still play! Here is a graph showing the trend:
Lastly, we have a "random" mode for users who wanted to keep guessing more words in a day. This peaked at 121 daily, but has no general trend. This makes sense because it's likely just a few people. Theoretically, the 121 could even be a single person playing a lot.
Overall, 21,000 words were guessed correctly in daily mode, and 10,000 thousand words were guessed correctly in random mode!
This section looks closer at the visit breakdown. What countries did the game reach? Did most people play on their phone or laptop?
The most important takeaway from early telemetry was device usage. 94% of visits originate from a phone or tablet. I did not expect this during development - I did all my testing on my laptop. Once I saw the stat, I deprioritized laptop layout entirely and started improving mobile experience.
I'm based in the Pacific Northwest so I expected usage to be mostly local at first. But eventually news spread a little farther. It was cool to see! Here are location breakdowns:
As expected, 60% of visits used Safari. This matches the iOS usage. 39% of visits used Chrome. I thought Firefox might be higher (1%), but that's probably because I use it myself.
All things considered, I put medium efforts into popularizing the game. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable and I slip into the mindset of "if I build it, they will come." I recognize this often isn't true - there's lots of content out there and people are busy. That said, I had a few ideas that didn't feel overbearing. This section describes how the game grew.
When the game was ready to launch, I wrote anaccompanying blog post.I do this anyways for most projects because it's nice to reflect on later. I then posted on a few social media accounts, including Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Usually my profiles are private just for friends, but I made an weeklong exception for this project; for Instagram in particular, this allowed people to reshare the post.
I don't have a perfect way to measure initial reach, but here are some numbers:
When you go from page to page on the internet, sometimes the second website knows what link you came from. GoatCounter shows me a list of these referrers, but 61% says unknown. TheFAQdescribes why this might be. If you use a bookmark or type in a web address directly into your browser, there might not be a referrer. Sometimes it's stripped by ad-blockers or containers. But I do see some referrers (ranked by usage): Google, Twitter, Telegram, Instagram, etc. If I had to guess, I think most people find out about the webpage through social media or friends. But once you find the page, you probably bookmark it or have a tab open on your phone.
I'm not on Twitter, but it's worth writing about. In early days, a friend posted about the game on their account which helped with traction. But the game also has a "Share on Twitter" button when you get the word right. This is similar to original Wordle - you've probably seen the result grid on your social media feed before. For Punjabi Wordle, I added a link to the game at the bottom of the tweet template. This was a good idea becausethis linknow shows many tweets referencing the game. A few trickle in each day and sometimes folks say very kind things. The "Share to Twitter" button was clicked 700 times. This is not too many - the "Share to Clipboard" button was clicked 5,000 times. I'm not sure where the clipboard results are going (Twitter? Forums? Telegram? etc).
WhatsApp is very popular in my community. I added a "Share to WhatsApp" button in the game for this reason. This way people can share in their group chats. The button was clicked 6,000 times and I heard several anecdotes of family competition over WhatsApp.
I looked up some "Wordle in other language" directories and asked them to include a link to ours. Here isone example.This was a good idea because many other websites started to look at these directories as well. This helped with search quality - when you search "Punjabi Wordle" on Google, the reason you find the game is because other sites link to it.
I found a few forums with Sikh sangat and left a comment where appropriate - here isone example.
Overall I'm pretty content. If I had a do-over I'd consider these improvements for increasing reach:
Thanks for reading! You can find other posts and contact infohere.