Less obvious were the small changes I made, including the tweaks to the README. I carefully ordered the content of that page and also added the animated GIF version of the Video since GitHub doesn’t allow embedding. I also made sure this GIF went at the top, so that mobile clients would also see it immediately.
Previously I had the changelog at the top of the file, which is useful if you’re working on the project or actively monitoring it. In reality however this was a waste of time, so I moved it to the end of the file.
I needed to target newcomers. So I moved the GIF up top and added a new entry that went over the top features and how to get started. I don’t have metrics on this, but I’d be surprised if this hasn’t helped people better understand what Peek is and how easy it is to start benefitting from its use.
The product page
Luckily I use Square Space for my hosting, so making a quick and dirty promo page was quite trivial. The tricky part was deciding what image I wanted to fill the page with, and which screenshot to use as the video placeholder.
In my case, I made the video first, then looked for frames that made sense. However in the end I decided to make a dedicated high-resolution mockup of Peek running on a device.
Previously when I released my open sourced projects, I’d basically just take a copy of the README and post that on my blog as well. This may seem productive at the time, but I’ve actually found it can be quite detrimental.
The point of the blog post – as well as the dedicated product page – is to drive traffic back to your website. This is super important to build a reputation and awareness of you as a developer, producing quality Open Source Software.
More importantly it will help you build a community as well. Some will contribute back to your projects, others will simply be users.
So I finally had all my marketing material, the product page was ready, blog post written – all that was left was to publish everything online for people to see. Plus I had to publish to Cocoapods 😬
Thanks to Twitter’s new 280 character limit, I was able to include all the top features in my Tweet as well. Here’s a snapshot of that first tweet:
Anatomy of the Tweet
I just wanted to pay special attention to this tweet, as I’ve spent a lot of time finessing the structure of my product releases when it comes to Twitter to improve my initial exposure and chance of interaction.
- Add a title, nice and short
- Make sure to include a link – I found near the top works well
- Include a short feature list – or short paragraph if that fits better
- Add appropriate hashtags – remember your target audience isn’t always other developers
- Most importantly a screenshot or GIF – I can’t stress this one enough!
So everything was ready, how did I manage the release?
I started by uploading the video, this can take time to process and become available so its worth preparing first.
The blog post and product page were already up, just not public yet so I could switch them on at any time.
I also prepare my tweet, instagram post, etc… to keep things consistent but platform specific where appropriate.
Once all the content was prepared, I pushed to Cocoapods and it was released!
Its been 5 days since the release and I’m happy to report:
After 3 days
- #1 – Swift projects
- #4 – Overall
- #7 – My Profile
- Over 1700 stars
- 4 new PRs, 57 Forks
After 5 days
- #1 – Swift projects
- #4 – Overall
- #3 – My Profile
- Over 2000 stars
- 11 new PRs, 72 Forks
- Over 4000 unique visitors on day 1
- ~400 daily since
After 3 days
After 5 days
- Peek was also featured in iOSDevWeekly for the second time (plus a direct mention on the following Tuesday)
- Promoted across various other channels and newsletters/lists
- A few new followers on Twitter and GitHub
Overall I’d say it been a really exciting 5 days. I’m not one of the iOS Elite and I’m not speaking at any events (although I’m interested in doing so). All of that aside, I’ve been able to make a simple tool and get people to notice.
I hope this post gets you a little more excited about marketing your own apps and hopefully gives you some insights into how you can improve awareness of your own projects.
If you’d like to discuss more, ask questions or make suggestions for my next big release, please get in touch or comment below.
Today I’m excited to announce Peek 5.0 with an all new design and some pretty exciting features. Start inspecting your iOS applications now!
All new features
Here’s the top 7 new features in Peek 5.0
All inspectors and attributes have now been unified into a single window, making inspection simpler and faster than ever before.
Feeling overwhelmed with all the information Peek has to offer? Simply tap the header to expand/collapse any section. Peek will even remember your choice across launches!
Peek now supports nested Inspectors. This powerful feature allows Peek to surface even more detail about your application. In fact Peek 5.0 more than doubles the number of attributes it can inspect.
Views, images, colours and more can now provide snapshot previews to help you better identify what you’re inspecting.
An all new reporting system allows you to report issues, including screenshots and metadata using the native iOS share sheet.
Peek itself is now more accessible with Dynamic Type, but Peek can also surface accessibility details from your application.
You can now search within Peek, making it easier than ever to inspect your apps.
Once setup, it’s as easy as pressing one of the volume keys on your device!
What is Peek?
Peek is an open source framework that provides runtime inspection of your application while its running on your device (or Simulator).
- Developers can use Peek to inspect their user interfaces at runtime.
- Designers can verify that the applications meets their design specifications.
- Testers and QA can check accessibility identifiers, validate behaviour and report issues.
Peek is a tool to aide you at all stages of your development process.
How does Peek work?
Peek scans your entire user interface on the screen then provides overlays with layout information and attribute inspectors.
Peek includes an intelligent filtering system to best determine which views you care about while ignoring those you are not likely to be interested in.
For example, by default Peek will not show you many of Apple’s system components unless they are subclassed.
Peek presents itself in its own window that sits directly on top of your own app’s user interface to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with normal functionality.
Peek also allows you to test all supported orientations on both iPhone and iPad.
Most importantly Peek doesn’t interfere with your applications logic or user interface in anyway. It provides read-only inspection to guarantee you’re seeing live-values only!
Thanks to an all new architecture Peek is also now smaller. Providing more features with much less code, leaving a very small footprint on your application.
Where can I get it?
Peek is open source and can be downloaded directly from GitHub. So start inspecting your apps now!
If you’re interested in learning more about Peek and how you can market your own Open Source Software, checkout my follow up post: Peek… behind the curtains