Home > Message > iPhunny and Giglish are shutting down

iPhunny and Giglish are shutting down

iPhunny and Giglish are going to shut-down permanently on June 30th, 2011 as the revenue from iPhunny subscriptions and Giglish advertising is not growing quickly enough to cover operational costs.

We had hoped to continue to provide daily late night jokes across platforms for a long time. Unfortunately, the demand for humor of this kind is just not high enough to generate sufficient subscription revenue in the paid app model or generate sufficient advertising revenue in the free model.

iPhunny and Giglish will continue to publish during April, May and June to fulfillĀ  90-day iPhunny subscription commitments processed in March.

We have already stopped selling new apps and subscriptions and renewals for iPhunny. If your iPhunny subscription has expired and you would like to continue receiving daily updates till June 30th, please send a blank email to freecode at iphunny dot com and we will email you a free subscription code.

If you work for a media company and your company would like to take over the operations of iPhunny and Giglish, please contact us at legal at giglish dot com.

If you are a venture capitalist or philanthropist and would like to fund the operations of iPhunny and Giglish, please contact us at investor at giglish dot com.

We appreciate your support over the last three years and hope we managed to make you smile some of the time.

The iPhunny and Giglish Team

Update April 6th:

We are thankful for and appreciate the offers in the comments below and by email from readers to donate money and time (coding, editing etc.) to keep Giglish and iPhunny from shutting down.

If we are unable to find any other company to take over the publishing operations, we will explore the possibility of running Giglish/iPhunny as a reader-supported service, possibly in a modified reduced-cost mode. If you would like to help organize the reader-support initiative, please contact us at savegiglish at giglish dot com.

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  1. Robert
    June 20, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I’m sad. This is a good app. Please continue to do publish new jokes even if u r losing money. Send then through email or simply create a website. You dont need money. Don’t be selfish and think of others too. Jk
    Are you based in America? Or india?

    • June 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      We are sad too, but our days of publishing while we are losing money are definitely over.

      If you would like to volunteer to donate some hours every week and help organize a reader-driven volunteer effort to keep publishing jokes, please contact us at savegiglish at giglish dot com.

      The core team is based in San Francisco with extended team members in Budapest, Hungary, Cambridge, U.K. and Ghaziabad, India, who have all helped with various stages of app and website development.

  2. Anonymous
    June 19, 2011 at 9:42 am

    We are going to miss you. Thanks for the help.

    Alex Kaseberg

  3. djb
    April 23, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I’m really gonna miss this app. It’s what I read just before going to sleep. Doze off with a laugh. I’m so sorry it couldn’t sustain. I hope something sweeps in to save it. It’s one of my all time fave apps.

  4. Rich
    April 10, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Well first off, I am really going to miss this app (first thing I do every morning *sigh*) and want to thank you for the entertainment.

    I was just reading the comments and judging by the popularity and community this app seems to have, I’m sure if a community support system was set up with some moderators, that getting the content at least could be done freely. Have you talked to the other late night show hosting companies? Or just NBC?

    • April 11, 2011 at 7:37 am

      A community support system with moderators would work but requires substantial community effort to set up and run when there is new content to be screened and edited every day.

      We did not talk to any late night show hosting company other than NBC. NBC used to run ads periodically on Giglish and has a history of being more progressive with new media. We would love to talk to any network or media company that is interested and would appreciate the help of anyone in the community in making the connections.

  5. JB
    April 8, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Well this is bad news. I live in France and I check this app everyday. It helps me follow the news on the other side of the Atlantic in a funny way. I hope you find a solution to keep it going: donations, higher subscription fee…
    Good luck an hope you can pick it up. It s a shame the talk shows dont sponsor you. You are great publicity for them!

    • April 9, 2011 at 9:59 am

      It is a shame. If the late night shows or the networks would divert some of their advertising dollars to Giglish and iPhunny, they would continue to get great publicity and we could continue to operate.

  6. Jack
    April 7, 2011 at 7:43 am

    I have downloaded prob 150 apps this is the one I use the most. I check it every day. Please find a way to keep the site open. Thx

  7. Frankie
    April 7, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Can you make enough if you sell this sucker in the app store? Charge like $2.99? I’m bummed like everyone else. But 10K over 6 months is not gonna come from paypal donations. T’will be sad.

  8. Kweku
    April 7, 2011 at 12:02 am

    This is really sad to hear. I live Ghana, a country in Africa (the first Obama visited in Africa :) n there’s almost no other way for me to hear the news about the world in a funny way like iphunny did. Indeed I got to read the beta every morning with iphunny bcuz I loved the punch lines n jokes so much ! I feel am a part of the reason why it’s shutting down since I didn’t want to pay for it so just kept the old app that didn’t require subscription to work cuz it’s really hard to get iTunes cards in my country n when u do it’s quite expensive ! However I say I’d donate at least $10 of my little left in my iTunes account if you guys gave us fans the chance to help. Like many others, iPhunny is the first app I open in the morning sometimes even before my Bible. It’s a great app so please don’t take my iPhunny away. :-(

    • April 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm

      Thank you for your offer to donate – especially since the amount is more significant in Ghana.

      iPhunny App subcriptions had an informal “honor system” where those who could not afford to pay would download multiple trials and those who could afford to pay would. The main problem was that not enough people who could afford to pay were willing to pay :(

  9. Justin
    April 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Thank you, iPhunny, for being there. My iPod will be empty without your app. I will miss the entertainment.

  10. Marcus
    April 5, 2011 at 7:11 am

    There is NO button or icon on my iPhone I’ve pushed more than iPhunny for the last 3 years. Period. I will badly miss you. I remember when iPhunny went subscription based, I did a few tricks to avoid paying about 3 months but then I read some of the iTunes reviews one day and the negative feedback was scathing. I was disgusted at the user base. Their words were personal attacking the people behind iPhunny. Comments like “This is my favorite app and now you think I’m stupid enough to pay”. Lots of these comments around that time. I was disgusted at myself and immediately made myself a proud paying customer. I will miss you! I’ve become funnier and better at telling jokes because of you. My original humor on Facebook has greatly improved as well. Thank You and Thank You.

  11. Larry
    April 5, 2011 at 3:49 am

    Just wanted to add my thanks for the entertainment you’ve provided, and my sincere regret at losing one of my favorite apps — quite literally the first app I check every day. As with others, I was shocked when I first saw the announcement, then felt somewhat anxious relief when I realized the date, then felt real sorrow when it turned out to be real.

  12. John
    April 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I echo a previous comment: add a donate button and let us know what you need. Like so many others this is an app I check every day — often twice a day and get disappointed because I was too early!! I would donate. I bet a few thousand other people would too.

  13. April 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    What’s your main cost? If the cost is in developing the web site and app, I’m some of the members would be happy to donate time to help. If it’s in collecting the jokes, maybe you can change it to a user submission model, where the members enter in the funniest joke they heard on the talk shows. Of course if the cost is in license and permissions, then we are just SOL.

    • April 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      The biggest recurring costs are collection and editing of jokes and development/update of the app. If enough users offered to donate their time then both of these costs could be reduced.

      User submission models have been tried by other humor websites and have not worked because of variable quality and excessive spam.

  14. shilpa
    April 4, 2011 at 8:57 am

    I always post these on my Facebook and my friends really enjoy them- as do I. I’ll def. miss having this app. on my google home page =(.

  15. DeafMTB
    April 4, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Oh no! I will miss your company! I always read these then send the email to my friends to cheer us up! I hope that your company finds a way to get making money to continue this company!

  16. Anonymous
    April 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    That sucks… This and Cyanide and Happiness were the two apps I went to every night to make me laugh. Thanks for all of the laughter, you guys really made a differance!

  17. Tanja
    April 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    How about combining ad revenue and subscriptions? I think we would be ready to pay a few dollars more for this…those of us who like it really LOVE it:)

  18. Cody cook
    April 3, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Any estimates on how much it would cost to keep going? Maybe the user ase will surprise you with our generosity… I know I’d chip in a good $20 or so for one.

  19. Steve
    April 3, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Dang! iPhunny changed the way I poop! Now what do I do?

    I’d pay for a subscription to iPhunny before I’d pay for one to the New York Times….and I bet others would also…

  20. Isaac
    April 3, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I feel obliged to tell you this, possibly one of the reasons youre not generating enough revenue is that its easy to get it for free. After the one month trial is up, you can just delete the app and reinstall it and take another one month trial. I bet if you had some kind of device verification or email linked trial, people would have to choose, pay or quit, and youd make more money.

    • April 3, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      Thank you for your suggestion. We always knew that some people would take advantage and do multiple free trials, but decided it was worthwhile to avoid requiring additional effort by the honest folks paying for the subscription.

      The new iTunes subscription process introduced by Apple last month would eliminate the ability to get more than one free trial. Based on our estimates, the additional revenue would not be enough to cover the programming cost of changing the app to the new process.

      • Isaac
        April 5, 2011 at 10:49 am

        make the programming into a contest, or post it on your app as a job offer, that’s what Cyanide and Happiness did

  21. David Hidalgo
    April 3, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Iphunny, please, please do not shut down your iphunny app! It gives me a reason to live! It’s made me laugh so many times when I was down, and happy when i’ve felt blue. Dont shut downnnnn!!!!

  22. Randy
    April 3, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Sorry for the news. You will be missed. Sadly enough the number of people who appreciate a short joke is dramatically low. Till end June it will be a great way to start the day.

  23. Jack
    April 3, 2011 at 7:26 am

    I seriously think this is april fools for some reason

  24. April 3, 2011 at 5:30 am

    Did you try sending the jokes via a facebook app? I feel like you could have attained critical mass for proper ad revenue on that particular platform.

    • April 3, 2011 at 8:51 am

      We did test a facebook app two years ago and the ad revenue was pathetic. Content apps dependent on ad revenue are struggling across the board irrespective of platform.

  25. April 3, 2011 at 2:47 am

    You should make a link from this page, one perferably that someone could grab using the mobile site, that we could copy and paste on to Facebook, that might help

  26. April 3, 2011 at 2:34 am

    Just read all of the comments and I agree wIth them all (except for one), it does suck, it was such a great app, it was One of the top apps I always visited, always gave me a laugh, how much would it cost to keep it going?

  27. Anonymous
    April 3, 2011 at 12:33 am

    That’s really bad news, readind the jokes every night before going to bed was part of my studying method to improve my English speaking and send me happy to my sleep, I wish there’s a way to make it work

    • Kz22
      April 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      Ha ye same here!! :<

  28. Lisa
    April 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear that. :( This has been on of my favorite apps for years. I check it daily. Thank you for all the hard work you have put into it. You have made me smile so often. :)

    • April 3, 2011 at 9:13 am

      Thank you, that means a lot.

      For a while now the main motivation to keep this going has been knowing that we made someone like you smile once in a while.

  29. Tim Evans
    April 2, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Awwwww!!! Please set up a way for us to contribute! You are among my top 3 apps I visit daily!!!

  30. April 2, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    SO, sorry to hear this. I wish it wasn’t so. iPhunny has been one of my favorite apps for years. I wish there was a way to make it work!

  31. Kz22
    April 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Could you open up a donate account? Raise money in different way? Maybe get the late night hosts to advertise the thing? I mean come on theres got to be something!! :{

    • April 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm

      We had long discussions with NBC last year but nothing came out of it in the end.

      We would be happy to talk to any company that would like to help keep this going.

  32. Tianna
    April 2, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    So, what the crap is up with you putting that announcement up on April fools day? Talk about a bummer when I heard that that was real…

    • April 2, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      Sorry about the timing. We had stopped renewals for iPhunny app at month end and didn’t want to wait too long to get the message out.

  33. Terry Dion
    April 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Oh no! I will really miss you guys. Great public service it has been. So sorry to hear it is not a sustainable business model.

  34. Steve
    April 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    We all saw it coming, but honestly this is your fault. No one would pay for jokes you shoulda just kept more adds

    • April 2, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      We would need over 10 times the number of users for ad revenue to cover costs. The demand for this kind of humor is just not high enough to generate enough ad revenue.

      Giglish.com has always been free and the ad revenue has never come close to covering costs.

      We had ads-only for 2 years for iPhunny and only started subscriptions when it became clear that ad revenue would never grow enough to become sustainable.

      New York Times suspended their late night jokes blog last year because even they couldn’t make it work with only ad revenue.

      http://laughlines.blogs.nytimes.com/

      • Simon
        June 19, 2011 at 8:03 am

        Guys, as sorry as I am to loose your jokes, I have to tell you that your Ads were awful. I recall just ads -almost always the same – for really bad music, stuff I hadn’t heard of. Then just as apple started making ads really easy for developers with iAds, you dropped the ad model for a broken or leaky subscription system.

        I don’t want to sound critical, I’m just saying it’s tragic that my very favorite ap was also one of the worst attempts at monetizing information that I’d seen. Had I realized that you might close down, I’d have offered to get on board and rewrite your business plan a year ago.

        A Tragic loss for us.

      • June 19, 2011 at 10:07 am

        The ads for the free ad-supported version of iPhunny were provided by Greystripe, a leading mobile ad network. The core problem with the ad model was that mobile ad CPMs and fill-rates plunged across the industry. iAds has not changed that, the CPms are higher but the fill rates are much lower.

        The most heavily promoted subscription based content app, The Daily, lost $10 million last quarter. To the best of our knowledge, there are zero profitable subscription based content apps right now. They may become profitable some time down the road but that requires deeper pockets than ours.

        If any media or advertising company would like to manage the monetization of iPhunny and Giglish and pay us a guaranteed amount to cover the operational costs, please contact us at legal at giglish dot com.

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