I love Kitsu, and I'm terribly proud of what we've created here. I'm even okay with the many failures we've had along the way — and trust me, there were many.
Kitsu grew into a wonderful community of nearly a million users that have spawned tens of thousands of friendships and more than a few romantic relationships. Our team varied in size from 2 to 10 for four years, most of whom were unpaid open-source contributors. The real heroes. We took what MyAnimeList had started and we created a new type of anime platform that has inspired a number of other sites like ours both within our niche and others. I'm proud that everything we've made is 100% open-source, even our mobile apps. It's there for you to learn from, or for you to take what we've done and make it better.
But at this moment, I'm feeling guilty, disappointed, and — quite frankly — heartbroken. These feelings are amplified by one of responsibility that I feel towards the early users who bet on us, those of you who stuck around when we were at our worst and things were their most unstable. In the end, we've delivered a good product but weren’t able to deliver on all of our promises. I didn't want to focus on making money until the website and the apps were perfect, I didn't think we had the right to ask for money until then. My biggest mistake was assuming we could just focus on building something great and the money would come when we needed it.
Kitsu can't cover it's own server costs (yet!) and we're out of funding.
Nobody has taken a salary from Kitsu for almost a year now. In that time, we've been working to drastically reduce our costs, in which we've succeeded — but the bills have continued to pile up in the meantime. We're offline right now for this reason, we were supposed to have more time to cover these expenses but there was a disconnect in communication and our host suspended our account unexpectedly.
Don't worry, all of your existing data is safe.
Our growth over the last year has been phenomenal. It's the reason our costs keep increasing so much. Very much a double-edged sword. There have been a couple individuals and companies that have offered to fund or acquire Kitsu — but none of those offers were in the best interest of the community. We didn't start Kitsu to get rich, we started it because we were weebs with too much time on our hands and too few IRL friends who thought 2D > 3D. I'm not as active in the discussions as I used to be, but I still very much consider myself a part of our community. Those of you that know me know that I'd rather shut down vs fuck the community over. It matters to me.
We're asking the community to help fund Kitsu, instead.
You guys have been asking me for a way to donate for ages now, here's your chance. If you love Kitsu, and you have the means to put something towards keeping the lights on, your help would be greatly appreciated. Your money will go directly towards our monthly operating expenses, nobody on the Kitsu team is taking a salary right now. It's all server costs.
We planned on launching Kitsu PRO as a way of supporting the site, but the unexpected suspension didn't give us the time to do that. Anyone donating $20 or more will be given a year of PRO when we're back online. PRO users will have a badge beside their name showing that they're a site supporter, an ad-free experience and a few anime-related discounts.
Thanks for being here, I love that we've built something that has reached you — wherever in the world you are. Here's to the many awesome things we have planned for the future!
p.s. if you want to email me, it’s email@example.com