How we're re-investing €4 Million in 2017 to make Hotjar even better

July 5, 2017 by David Darmanin

Hotjar was founded in 2014 with a bold vision to ‘Change the way digital experiences are built and improved by democratizing user analytics and feedback’. In less than three years, we went from running a 9-month beta program, to making Hotjar available to the public, to experiencing tremendous growth by finally reaching an Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of €8 Million as of June 2017.

Hotjar Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of €8 Million in May 2017

Hotjar Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) As of June 2017.

We’ve grown without raising any capital or incurring any debt. While we are running a profitable business, we have chosen to invest heavily back into product and the business itself. As we strongly believe in transparency and honesty (for example, our product roadmap and status page are public), we wanted to share the big changes that are coming in 2017 and beyond, and show you where and how we have been investing €4 Million in Hotjar.

Incoming Feedback: An entirely new way to collect instant and visual feedback

We are currently in the final stages of the Incoming Feedback Beta we launched back in November 2016. This new and free feature in Hotjar allows your site visitors to give you instant visual feedback, helping you see which parts of your website they love and which ones need some attention.

Simply enable Incoming Feedback in your account and a customizable feedback label will be shown on your pages. Visitors can then rate their experience as well as highlight elements and give specific feedback on them.

Incoming Feedback is a new way to gather visual feedback.

Incoming Feedback enables you to collect visual feedback from your website and app users.

This feature will be taken out of beta over the coming weeks and will be completely free and unlimited to all Hotjar accounts.

Always-on Recordings

This summer we will also be offering you the ability to collect recordings automatically, eliminating the need to log into Hotjar to manually capture a new batch when you need it. This is a highly requested feature and several large brands have already been testing it successfully for several months.

You will soon be able to collect recordings on a daily basis, automatically.

This is a powerful add-on to your account as it will allow you to see recordings of visitors on a continuous basis, as well as dig deeper to uncover specific issues and patterns.

A new “events-based” architecture

Based on the lessons we learned in the past, we have created an internal Hotjar Platform team focused on creating the building blocks of the future of Hotjar. By moving to a unified ‘events-based’ architecture, Hotjar will soon allow you to measure events happening on your site, set goals to track, better connect the dots between analytics and feedback, and pave the way for more predictive analytics. This means you and your team will be even more equipped to understand what your visitors are doing – and why they are doing it.

A new "events-based" architecture is the future of Hotjar.

A screenshot of the future of Hotjar with an ‘events-based’ architecture.

Faster data collection

When we created Hotjar we wanted it to be simple, affordable, and fast to use. To achieve this we collect data from a random sample of your daily traffic. We found this approach to be superior to being forced to pay high prices to collect data from all pages, all traffic… all the time. Especially when you consider that usage and behavior patterns do not tend to change unless you change the experiences itself.

How Hotjar currently selects a random sample of your daily traffic.

How Hotjar currently selects a random sample of your daily traffic.

However, many of our customers asked for faster collection of heatmap data and session recordings, as well as even more accurate funnel data. So in 2016 we quietly released the ability to control the rate at which you collect data from your site in Hotjar.

We already have a substantial amount of larger customers collecting data from well over 2 million pageviews per day. This year we will be introducing the ability to visualize and easily change the rate at which you collect visitor data – directly from within your Hotjar dashboard.

You will be able to change the Hotjar data collection rate.
You will be able to change the rate at which you collect visitor data from the Hotjar Dashboard.

As Hotjar moves to an events-based architecture, the ability to collect a higher percentage of your site data becomes even more valuable, especially when you need to accurately measure and react to changes and trends. See how data collection works and how it can be increased in Hotjar.

Clearer pricing

With 181,127 sites using Hotjar, we already collect a tremendous amount of data. The move to a new architecture will result in Hotjar collecting even more events. When we first launched the Hotjar beta we designed Hotjar to be used on multiple sites at the same cost – as long as these were owned by the same organization.

The more data we collect on each site, the more difficult it is to justify a cost based on organizations only. For this reason, we’ve decided to change to site-based pricing. In the near future, you will set a plan for each site in your account – independent of their organization.

This change is planned for the 4th of September 2017 and you can read more about it here. All existing customers up to that date will not be impacted by this change and will remain with the current pricing model.

A clearer pricing structure will be introduced.
Current pricing structure (left) vs. New pricing structure for new customers on the 4th of September (right).

This is just the beginning...

We will also be launching more powerful and detailed Heatmaps, a better detection and segmentation of Recordings, and a more intuitive way to use Polls and Surveys together. The changes happening in 2017 are truly just the beginning of Hotjar and there are no shortage of interesting technical challenges coming up: we’re always looking for people who share our core values to help us solve them

We’re committed to improving Hotjar based on your feedback – as well as our bold vision of an ‘all-in-one’ solution that allows you to truly understand your visitors. 

… and we look forward to this awesome journey with you.

On behalf of the Hotjar team, we thank you for your support, feedback, and encouragement.

The Hotjar Team in Marbella (June 2017).
The Hotjar Team during our retreat in Marbella in June 2017.

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David Darmanin

David is the CEO and founder of Hotjar. Before founding Hotjar, he spent a decade generating hundreds of millions of dollars in growth consulting some of the web’s most sophisticated companies. Founded in 2014, Hotjar is run fully remotely by 70+ team members across 17+ countries and is used on 400,000+ sites worldwide.

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