Wordle attracted “tens of millions” of new users to the New York Times.

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The New York Times Company financial result for the first quarter to prove what we all knew from the start: people really like wordle.

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You already know the story: Josh Wardle made a fun word game for his partner, shared it with a few friends (who turned out to be tech influencers since Wardle worked on places like Reddit and MSCHF) who shared it. with a few more friends, and in the end, that was all anyone with an internet connection could talk about.

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At first, Wardle didn’t try to capitalize on his easy word game with no commercials. But being solely responsible for a viral pun is a big commitment, so at the end of January he sold the game to the New York Times for an undisclosed “seven-figure” amount.

“If you’ve followed Wordle’s history, you know that NYT games play a big role in its origins, and so this step seems very natural to me,” Wardle said in an interview. tweet. “When the game moves to the NYT site it will be free to everyone and I’m working with them to make sure your wins and streaks are saved.”

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About three months after Wordle was sold to the New York Times, the newspaper announced today the game brought in “unprecedented tens of millions of new users to The Times”. This resulted in the company’s best quarter in terms of new Games signups. While Wordle remains free, the New York Times covertly advertises its other games, such as Spelling Bee, through Wordle. A New York Times Games subscription costs $5 per month or $40 per year.

When Wardle spoke to TechCrunch a few weeks before the acquisition, he noted that the New York Times Games served as inspiration for the game. Unlike past viral games – think flying bird – the game is not addictive, since you can not play more than once a day. This game design is intentional.

“My partner and I often play The New York Times word games and they follow this one day model,” he said. told TechCrunch.

Like The Times, Wordle creates a sense of community between players as everyone solves the same puzzle. Wardle added: “One thing that’s interesting to think about is that Wordle could be one a day, but if everyone got a different word that day – if the word was random, but you could still only play one – it wouldn’t have hooked it the way it hooked it.”

But perhaps what propelled Wordle to an unexpected level of virality was the ease of sharing the emoji grid of Wordle results.

People share their Wordle results in WhatsApp chats, Facebook messages, and text messages to their moms, but Twitter has also played a significant role in its popularity.

Twitter data scientist Lauren Fratamico posted topical research yesterday was looking into how wordle spread across the platform over time.

The study found that 3.3 million people have tweeted about Wordle since mid-October, for a total of 32.2 million tweets. Tweets about Wordle have received over 6.6 trillion views, 58 million likes and 9 million replies.

At its peak, there were 500,000 Wordle tweets a day, but that late-January peak coincides with the New York Times buying the game, which certainly fueled the discourse. Despite the downward trend in the number of tweets about Wordle (there are currently around 200,000 per day), this does not necessarily mean that people are playing less. Rather, it may have become a little smelly share your results every day.

“I will say one thing: most players don’t actually post their scores on Twitter,” Wardle told TechCrunch in January. “There is an account called wordle statistics who browses twitter, then collects all the grids that people share, then posts it the next day and says ok, 30% of people got it in four, and I think two days ago he collected 100,000 something , while at the time there were about 2 million people playing Wordle.”

In case you’re wondering, according to the sample size of people who tweeted Wordle results, the most difficult word was SWILL (2/19/22), which took an average of 4.88 guesses for tweeters to solve. The simplest was PLANT (4/22/22), which took an average of 3.32 attempts to solve.

Credit: techcrunch.com /

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