Incoming Changes to Featuring

writing

#1

Hey everyone! This is Nick from Wattpad HQ talking about featuring, again.

I’m going to go over and outline some major changes coming to featuring. There’s a lot to cover here so I’ll pause for a TLDR version:

  • the Featured List is going to go through some experiments over the next couple of months

  • the Featured List will merge with all curated promotion across Wattpad, so stories could be “featured” in any number of locations, not just the list

  • stories will no longer be featured in cycles and will instead be added and removed as needed

  • applications are making a return

  • themed and rotating lists will be very limited/lists will become more consistent and clear

  • these changes are English only for now

Let’s go over each section:

Experimentation

Just so it’s extra clear, this is a period of experimentation. Changes we make might be rolled back. We’re also testing some learnings to see if we need to build new things or change existing things and spaces. Sometimes, this might mean changes you disagree with because of future changes we are expecting will shift things. It might also mean something you really like happens but then goes away. It’s part of the nature of experimentation. I’ll try to keep things updated with a collection of notes on the state of promoted space on Wattpad.

Featured List Merge

Basically, we’re saying that the Featured List is no longer the place for Featured Content. It’s all rolling into one giant space of curated promotion. So a story might not be featured in the Featured List space anymore. Instead, it might be featured in a promoted home module. It might be in some curated recommendations, or in other places.

It is also very unlikely the list will be called The Featured List anymore, or ever again. This is a very internal name, and it means a lot to those who know what it means. But it doesn’t always convey the proper message to new users or those who don’t read up on the Featured List. We want to make it clear what that space is for in the hopes that it attracts the right people. Are you looking for content that wasn’t selected by your own reading behaviour or popularity rankings? You’ll check out the [something something] section. The name is also an experiment space.

Featured List Cycles

I’m sure astute followers of the Featured List noticed that it would consistently rotate and change all at once. This is going away. Since it’s going through experiments, when and how the list changes may shift around a bit, but for the most part, we’re going to add and remove content as we see fit or with need. Stories will not be added on specific days or after a certain amount of time, but will at least have a reasonable minimum promotion time. We would never want to feature a story for a day or two just to take it away.

Applications

I indicated in the past when we removed applications that we knew this was an area that needed to be addressed. After a lot of learnings, we’ve come back to applications, but with stricter, clearer rules on how they function. We want to make sure that applying for promotion feels like a serious endeavour, because it is. It should be approached as you would a job interview.

You can find the application here and it includes its new rules at the top.

If you’re curious what we look for in a story, that remains consistent. We want content that we think will appeal to readers on and off Wattpad, that has its own distinct voice, style, or spin, or is so remarkably compelling you can’t put it down. We also expect a reasonable degree of quality, such as cleaning out obvious typos or consistent grammar errors that make the text difficult to read. There is no read count minimum or maximum.

We’re also leaving open that stories that do not apply can still be promoted if we feel they meet our criteria.

Themed Lists

The rotating cast of themed lists is largely going away. There will still be some spaces for thematic lists that change with the seasons and events, but they will be very limited. We also want to make sure they’re significantly clearer than before. Many of them were fun and we enjoyed creating them as much as authors enjoyed being a part of them, but they could be confusing to readers with exactly what they would find in that list.

Moving forward, you’ll see fewer lists, or some that do not change at all.

I would also like to take this moment to celebrate that time Amanda was trying to come up with names for a dark and gritty list while also trying to destroy my pun-hating heart. Rest in peace name ideas I killed:

The Dark Knight: A Reading List
The Stories Gotham Deserves
Bruce Wayne’s Personal Picks
Wruce Bayne’s Personal Picks

That covers much of the changes to Featuring that are happening. Thanks for taking the time to read all the way through here.

Nick

[Additional Note: The application is open if people want to start applying now]


Featured List
Count to xxx before a mod posts Vol 11
We Need More Friends 8.0
Count to xxx before a mod posts Vol 11
#3

Omg we’re getting news updates o.o YES! Keep it coming! Give us information about changes!


#4

Ooh, this sounds good. Hope the applicants aren’t too nervous :joy:


#5

This is so cool, Nick =]


#6

Very excited to see this rolled out.


#7

is already filled with anxiety

has reread this post four times

anxiety intensifies

Nervous? No way.


#8

Been edited. Enjoy rereading it again


#9

anxiety has reached critical mass

meltdown imminent

Cool… cool.


#10

Can we submit Watty winners, or is that bad form / overkill? I’ve never been entirely clear on the point of the featured list.


#11

Point wise we want to use it more as a tool to give different types of readers access to different content that may not always be surfaced by popularity rankings or read behaviour algorithms generating recommendations.

So yes, any story can apply, any time, unless it doesn’t meet some of the restrictions around length or genre.


#12

So since this technically different from the past featured list, is this open to previously featured work too?


#13

What exactly is the difference between ‘recently finished’ and ‘complete’ in the application form?


#14

Thanks for the insight. You were a stitch at Wattcon, by the way.


#15

Yes


#16

Thank you, just wanted to double check. Wasn’t sure if that was an unspoken but obvious rule or not lol


#17

Looking at the form it seems we can only submit our own books. Will you maybe consider allowing people to submit someone else’s book in the future? That was a really nice thing to have someone think so highly of a book they want to submit it to be featured.

I will kinda miss the themed lists but I have to imagine it was a pain to come up with themes with any kind of regularity. Which would explain why some of them were up for so long vs others.


#18

So basically the “featured” stories will be shown to me as a recommended, promoted etc? I’m glad that’s happening because the recommended list never recommended anything that I wanted to read.

Also this is just a nitpick but I genuinely wish that there is a specific period of time assigned to stories. Or at least I’d like to know how the rotation cycle will work?


#19

Some of my stories I posted here several years ago are Complete. If I ever finished any of my current stuff I would mark that it was recently finished.

But I never finish stories because it makes @OmaimaAkbar mad at me.

That’s your decision though, if you think something you finished a month ago is still “Recently” or not


#20

It’s unlikely. I considered a section saying “I’m submitting for someone else” or nominating alternates but when I compared with what we’re asking from the form, it doesn’t really line up. We want authors to come forward with their story, to understand the weight of what they’re putting it up for, and also to have their opportunity to sell their story their way.

Kind of like going to an investor, you probably would rather be the one doing the pitch than leaving it to someone else and hoping they sell it properly.


#21

I never finish stories either, so I guess none of the options would apply to me :sweat_smile: