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