I’ll start with my question, and then expand: Does anyone know if Wattpad has any active plans to work on their broken tags/ranking? Not with the current bug, but I mean in general. What priority does the ranking/tag system have? Do we even know?
The Issue: The Tags/Ranks often break, and it’s been that way since September. They are also constantly clogged with the same stories, and it makes searching for new stories a huge chore, versus a fun adventure.
I see a lot of authors on here, including me, that are trying really hard to work with the algorithm that Wattpad has given us - publish often, get votes/reads/comments/follows between publishing chapters, and your rank goes up in the tags. That’s a fair algorithm. With enough hard work, an author can use that to their advantage.
That hard work seems to go to waste for many, however, as when the ranks are constantly broken, the strong following/performance a chapter might get climaxes with no impact on their rank. I have seen some authors start and finish a book in this time-frame on here, and their story did not benefit from the ranks at all, because they didn’t function for them. Which means their story still sits under 5k reads, despite them being good stories, frequently updated, and completed. (I know 5k reads is a lot, but for the quality of these? It should easily be more) I have a feeling that if the ranks worked better, then they might have gained more of a following. Which, in turn, would also have diversified the overly saturated tags.
And yes, there are those that say “Ranks don’t matter, just writing what you enjoy does!” But that’s not always true. If I wrote solely for my own pleasure, I would not be on Wattpad. I think many others are in the same position.
So, that led me to think: does anyone know how much of a priority tags/ranks are? Like does Wattpad have any plans to work on making them better? To address the constant clogging of the same stories, or to address the fact that they always break, and are broken for a week or more at a time? Or is a band-aid issue where they just keep changing the band-aid because Next and other programs takes priority?
This is less of a complaint (I mean, it does feel good to type it out ) but it is a genuine question as well. I guess I’d like a little more transparency on what is happening with the ranks, as right now, the most transparent we get is a section on the Help page that states they are working hard on the problem. Which I am sure they are, but it’s starting to become enough of a recurrence that it is starting to make me wonder how much effort they are putting towards the issue as a whole.
I also completely understand that Wattpad can’t do everything at once. They do have to make a priority list. At this point, I’d rather just know where the priority for the ranking system is. At the moment, it feels like a broken system that will pretty much stay that way for the foreseeable future, and I kind of wish we had more of an announcement to address this, versus the same Help Page statement once or twice a month.
I think helping writers with their expectations on the site would be greatly appreciated. And since ranking in the tags is an integral part to story exposure on this site, I wish it was more transparently addressed. I’d rather be told, “We are aware, but don’t have any actions planned to correct the deeper issue at the moment” versus silence. Does anyone else feel that way or is it just me? It could always just be me
AS OF 2/27/2019 we have an update! It’s in post 211 in this thread, and also quoted here:
Hey! I’m Gabby from Support!
I mostly deal with Accounts/Writing related issues which is why I tend to jump in on threads relating to those areas because those are my speciality. @vivian has been working with our developers on tagged rankings, which is why if you’ve sent in a ticket about the rankings you’ve most likely gotten a reply from her. I may be biased but I thinks she’s pretty great, but this isn’t about how great I think Vivian is…
Tagged rankings- what’s the sitch? Where’s the transparency? I just want you to know that we’ve seen you, we’ve heard you, we’re reading your tickets and threads about it. We’re not ignoring you! And I’m really sorry if it’s seemed this way. I wanted to post this to give you some answers and to hopefully bring more clarity and transparency to what’s been happening with tag rankings.
Let’s start with our bug escalation process - the escalation of a bug varies a lot depending on different aspects (how many users are affected, how much does this impact their ability to use the platform, is it reproducible?) but once there’s a Known Issues article on it, you can usually bet that we’ve made our developers aware of it so that they can work on fixing it. As you can see, we’ve had a Known Issues article on Tagged Rankings for a while, but all we’ve really said is “developers are working on it”. And that’s because, well, developers are working on it. We promise that isn’t a lie! We are continuing to prioritize this bug above other smaller bugs, which means that we have had developers working on fixing the issues every week since we first escalated it!
Unlike a program (like Next) where there can be decisions made and conversations had that we can share, the bug fixing process isn’t as linear. For instance, for the past month we have made some progress and experienced some setbacks with fixing hot list errors. So if we were posting weekly updates on the tagged rankings issue, it would probably sound something like this:
“Our developers are testing a fix for this issue this week. Hmm… looks like it didn’t fix it.”
“Our developers are try to fix this again with this other test! Oh that only worked a little bit but still lots of other areas to tweak to get the rankings working again!”
Which is just another way of really saying that, yes, developers are working on it, and it’s taking some time to create a short or long term fix. I’m not sure if communications like that would really be meaningful for you, but if it is, your perspective on that is appreciated!
We had people ask for a timeline, and we really do wish we could give one, but unfortunately, that’s not something we can really share either. Not because we don’t want to, but because we truly don’t know how long a bigger issue like this may take to get fully resolved. It’s not that we know that there is x bug and it’s going to take y time to fix it we just need the time to fix it (which would be the best , we want these bugs fixed just as much as you, I think Vivian wants it more than anyone). It’s a lot of trial and error - we hope that it will be fixed this week, but we can’t guarantee it, so we don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. Because if we say we’re implementing a fix, and it doesn’t work, then it just looks like we’re being dishonest. And we don’t want that either!
Tagged rankings are a really complex system which means that errors in the rankings take quite a lot of time to both understand the root cause, and actually implement fixes for so unfortunately it’s not as easy as a few hours of developer work and then, viola! But wouldn’t life be wonderful if this were a quick fix…( daydreams )
That’s not to say that we aren’t looking for ways to better communicate issues like these, and we are trying to expand and shift are processes, especially with longer-term bugs like this one. And we’re listening to you guys! Again, we’re just looking for ways that we can update the community in a way that’s meaningful (which sounds very generic but I hope the rest of my novel I’ve posted here makes it known that it’s coming from a hopeful place).
Anyways! Run down of an update that we can give now, which is really the best we have for the moment:
Are developers actively working on fixing this? Yes.
Do we know when this will be fixed? I wish (so, no).
Are we listening to you? Yes!
How are we going to be updated on this? I know it hasn’t changed since posting, but we’re hoping to better utilize the Known Issues page going forward with more updates going forward. And if you have any suggestions on how you’d like to be updated please let us know!
If you have any questions, let me know!
This is seriously appreciated Gabby. Thank you for acknowledging the many users that have grown frustrated, and for understanding how some things can be frustrating I am sure dealing with frustrated users, is frustrating in itself It means a ton to me that I can rely on a Wattpad authority like you for help!!!