New Limit on Offline Stories

So, before we get into the nitty gritty of things, let me provide you all with some background information.

Last year, around May/June 2018, there was an experiment done with the offline reading experience:

Over the next three weeks, Wattpad Premium will be rolling out an experiment around the offline reading experience for our users. This could mean that if you are not a Wattpad Premium user you will not be able to read all your saved stories offline during this trial. The good news is this will fix a lot of bugs and issues that you might not even be aware of.

Did you know that downloading every story into your library takes up storage space making your phone and the Wattpad app run slower? This new trial will help to control this to improve overall app performance for you. This should also help remedy library syncing issues!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the community team. Wattpad agents will be happy to help!

This experiment made it so that those without Wattpad Premium could not read offline at all.

It was quickly rescinded and offline reading came back to everyone once it was over.

Fast forward to yesterday now. September 26th, 2019. I visit the forums and see this:

So, then, I looked into it myself and since my apps auto-update, I had the update, too:

Initial Message

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I had to sleep because human bodies are needy like that but this morning, I found this:

FAQ Section

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I don’t know about you but this new limit sounds very familiar to the experiment from last year.

And for those who are curious to see what Wattpad has released as a statement, here it is:

Hi Wattpadders!

We’re excited to update you about the launch of a new Library experience.

The new Library experience enables users to:

  • Choose which stories they wish to store to their device for offline reading
  • Add and remove stories from their offline list directly from the Library
  • View their offline limit and whether a story is available offline or online

Now, users can dive into their favorite Wattpad reads without worrying about internet connectivity or its associated charges as it helps users manage their device storage, by preventing the app from automatically saving all the stories in their Library on to their device. By giving users control over which stories they want to store for offline reading, we hope to create a more efficient Library management experience, while optimizing performance.

Note that Paid Stories in users’ Libraries do not count towards the offline limit.

The new Library experience / Offline feature will be slowly rolling out to all Wattpadders, and over the course of the coming weeks, each one of you will eventually see this update. This new experience was designed and built for you—the members of our diverse, creative, and passionate community—and we can’t wait for you to explore it for yourselves.

(Source)

Now, before I let you all loose to discuss this, I’d like you to answer a question first.

How do you feel about these changes?

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Unsure / Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

0 voters

I just posted this in the other thread, but this appears to be the current strategy of Wattpad.

Ok so since the advent of universal ads, we’ve all been complaining. We’ve found ways to circumvent the ads, we’ve been reading offline, and we’ve been complaining. Especially since a lot of the ads they use are not exactly quality ads, and some are malware.

So they’ve been steadily cutting off our ways to avoid ads, all the while promoting premium.

Now they’ve made it so that offline reading is basically kaput without premium.

Essentially what Wattpad is doing is picking off the “less favorable” users- The ones who won’t pay- to leave only the “more favorable” users, the ones who pay for premium.

They don’t care about losing readers or ad revenue from people jumping ship. They are making the site friendly to the paying users because the paying users are giving them more than the ads do.

And thus, we have the removal of offline reading, because they know that they’ll narrow the site again to the paying users.

47 Likes

Amen

9 Likes

It’s a sad reality when sites forgo good free experience for the sake of making subscription services for profit.

22 Likes

They can make a good free experience and a good paid experience, to make the free experience bad will only off put people into paying

19 Likes

Like if free is crap then people may expect the paid experience to not be worth the money

12 Likes

This makes me wonder if dark mode will actually come for non-paying users…

24 Likes

If it’s not then it’s only taking advantage of those with reading disabilities, and those with disabilities already tend to pay for a lot of other expenses. It’s preying on the weak

17 Likes

Religious Joy

5 Likes

It already pains me to know only a part of how expensive the care for me is, I wouldn’t want an added cost for being able to use Wattpad without being hurt.

11 Likes

^ I was about to say what Joy said.

That’s incredibly money hungry of them if they do that.

11 Likes

For sure, it would be very problematic if these things are put behind paywalls

5 Likes

Definitely

5 Likes

I’ve also posted on the other thread but will share my opinion here as well.

WP posted that there would be a change coming only on the support page for a reason. It was intentional because they knew there would be a massive backlash from writers and readers alike, so they hid it as much as they could. This change hurts everyone aside from Premium users.

Wattpad seems to be moving to what is best for users with money rather than what is best for their vast majority of their users experience, which makes me woefully disappointed in this site that I love so so much.

Something that was once free for all is now only available to Premium users.

I love Wattpad but to go from unlimited story access offline to only two unless you have the money to spend puts a sour taste in my mouth and surprises me that they’d do something so limiting. And what gets me more upset than anything is that they are trying to pass it off as something good.

If you’re going to do something that is inherently and obviously a negative for the mass of people who don’t have the money to spend on something that has been free since the beginning of Wattpad, at least be upfront about it

I’d respect the hell out of a company that was honest about a decision that was made knowingly to make more money and limit the user experience. It may be crappy, but if you’re honest about why the decision was made instead of trying to disguise it as something good then at least you give your users the respect of not treating us like we’re dumb.

I’d be curious to hear from anyone that agrees with this decision to limit offline stories and ostracize users who can’t afford Premium.

56 Likes

Perhaps the singular person in the poll so far who has voted “agree”?

7 Likes

I’d love to hear her opinion on why she agrees with this change.

I cannot find any positives in the change or reasons that lead to something good for the majority of readers so if any positive light can be shed on this change I’d truly love to hear it.

@ToastedBagels

11 Likes

Yeah, that’s not for users, that 100% so more people will pay for Premium.
They should be honest about what it is they actually want.

16 Likes

Honestly I think this change will drive more users to stop using the site tbh

20 Likes

There are a lot more app readers than those of us here.

Many of them probably didn’t even know changes were happening. And probably rely on their parents to pay for their cell service, so paying to read more offline is likely out of the question.

User pruning at its finest.

10 Likes

Old stars and paid stories

4 Likes