GitHub stars are a 'Like' and 'Follow' button for GitHub repositories. When users star a repository, they get updates in their home feed about project releases.

GitHub star growth is surprisingly linear when graphed, even for projects with underlying exponential growth. Why?

First, why even care? Many open-source projects track stars because they don't have other great metrics about their top of funnel. Developers will be first to tell you that "stars don't matter." And to some degree, they don't. For open core businesses, stars might have a low correlation to actual revenue. But it does seem that stars correlate with project popularity and usage.

Some hypotheses that have yet to be tested:

Some other surprising facts