Author Announcement: Updated Story Rank and Trending Algorithm

Over the last few months, our team has been working on ways to give Episode authors more opportunities to get support from their readers and help make their journeys to becoming full-time authors and creators easier. With the recent update to our Community Author Gem Choices, we want authors to feel in control of their stories and the extra content they can offer readers in exchange for that support.

We know authors worry about losing reads and readers when adding optional gem choices to their stories. As a way to help authors who add gem choices to their stories, we have updated the trending leaderboard algorithm to incorporate gems spent on an author’s story as well as reads.

Story ranks will now be determined not only by the number of reads a story gets, but will now also include a factor based on the number of gems spent in that story. We would like to be clear that this will not fundamentally change the way rank is calculated, and stories without gem choices will still be able to trend high in the ranks and be visible for new readers. This change will not affect how stories appear in search results, on users profiles, or anywhere else in the Episode app.

As this change is being rolled out, authors may see a mismatch between ranks in-app and on the Writer’s Portal. This will be the case until this feature is fully released.

As with our other author-focused updates, we hope that this encourages you to see paths to success and engage with your readers in new ways.

– The Episode Team

35 Likes

Could you maybe explain the part “how many gems” like, what number are we looking at? So 25 gems would get your story 5 times higher than a story with 5 gems?

5 Likes

Hi, @Melani3! Will there ever be a way to see choice statistics in the Writer’s Portal? Aka, seeing what choices the readers chose the most per chapter and what they seem to lean towards? This could be a great way to see what works for authors.

14 Likes

Yes! I’m pretty sure it’s something like that. But it will also depend on the value of the gem choice. (5,15,20) suppose a gem choice’s value is 10. And in another story a gem choice’s value is 5. So it’s obvious a reader will click the gem choice whose value is 5 :smiley:

2 Likes

Haha, people will definitely choose the one with 5 gems, besides that they could easily give you more gem choice selected that way! With 20 gems per choice it will be way harder. Thanks for explaining!:heart:

1 Like

Yes I meant exactly that! You’re most welcome :heart:

1 Like

Some of my rankings were significantly different and I’m pretty sure I had the version of the app where I could see the test rankings live. I thought the ranks were broken :rofl:

Edit: Right now, my genre rank is showing as 237 in drama for the live ranks and 60 for test. This is pretty significant imo.

1 Like

I guess this is good to help support authors & get them trending. I’m glad more ppl can have episode as their job… but Episode clearly wants to include gems more for ranking bc it helps them financially If more ppl r wanting gems :woman_technologist:t3:I don’t rlly want to include gem choices… but I guess if I want to have a high ranking spot then I need to include them? I’m kinda disappointed w this change

6 Likes

the test rank was pretty confusing at first so i totally get you :sob:

do you have gems choice in your story?

Mine went from being 49 in live to 56 in the test.

I don’t publish much, so that’s fine… but to be honest I’m still disappointed by this push to have authors include gem choices in their story.

To me it shows that you’ll have to start including gems if you want to keep your stories “relevant” in the trending section. :woman_shrugging:t3: Disappointed but not surprised, what can I say.

10 Likes

I do, yes. I should have mentioned that. So it makes sense that my test rank is higher, but that’s a big change. It means that if the test ranks become the real ones, I’ll actually be visible in the genre trending.
I have not updated in like 4 months btw hahahahahaha. So that’s a win for me, but sucks for anyone who updates and has no gems?! I mean, I’m sure you can still trend, but it seems like it will be a lot harder.

2 Likes

Right now I have two published stories (with no gem choices). One is trending #11 in their genre, and the other #8 in their genre. In the test rank, the #11 story is ranked #33, and the #8 story #28. This feels like a very substantial shift to me.

5 Likes

This seems like a huge help for authors and for the company to earn money, but inherently hurts the readers’ reading experience. Kinda bummed for them TBH but I can see where you’re coming from with this idea.

4 Likes

I have definitely noticed changes in the live rank vs the test rank. Since I have gem choices in a few of my stories, I’ve noticed that I tend to trend higher whenever someone selects a gem choice. And I noticed my stories without gem choices don’t trend that high. It just remains the same. (Granted my story passed the review so it tends to trend high regardless, but I noticed it doesn’t trend as high as my stories with gems.) But, even so, I still feel like there could have been other ways to help support authors.

At least, maybe consider making it easier and convenient to earn gems. The daily awards isn’t enough especially with the new updates. Because this just feels like a slap in the face for readers especially the younger audience who can’t spend real money on gems.

This! I would have gladly taken this feature over the recent updates. It’s a lot more beneficial, than this.

11 Likes

Can we get an explanation on how exactly the rank is calculated? Live vs test rank are significantly different. Readers already give authors grief over adding gems so it feels like we have two choices: be visible on the app and add gem choices but get hate messages over it, or be barely visible if at all. Some stories had over 200 rank difference between live and test, that is huge. Or even 500 places difference like I did today lmao.

We would like to be clear that this will not fundamentally change the way rank is calculated, and stories without gem choices will still be able to trend high in the ranks and be visible for new readers

This part confuses me because it is pretty clear that 250 and 750 is a huge difference in ranking. (And just to make it clear my story went up in test rank to 250 but in live rank fell to 750, when prior to this change it had a stable rank.)

8 Likes

I’m still not understanding this.

@Melani3 I’m left without words with calling this whole experience “author-oriented” since you keep ignoring both sharing with us any important information, answering our questions, updating the app so it’s consistent to everyone.

At this point, the test rank is quite random and unclear, and I think all authors can agree with me. We have no idea how the new algorithm works, why with the same % of purchased gems once it’s 180 and once it’s 20. It’s very unstable and not that related to reads how I’d expect. Like really, one day my story is 130 one day it’s 20. One day it’s almost the same as normal rank, one day it’s trending #2 in the app? It’s a big gap and your statement that it’s quite stable is false so far. I’d advice to work more on the algorithm to make it more stable.

I’m in the position that now gives me a better rank than normal, so I’m not here as a person who loses in this whole farce, but it’s still clearly a farce, very unpredictable, making us anxious. Gems still don’t work well for most of devices, priced gems still have issues. That makes it difficult to implement point topping/adding system because half of the users could disrupt it with the free purchases that don’t bring any perks because of the failing system. Please, consider informing us what you know about the process of fixing it and how “free” but gem choices are seen in our portal.

We still don’t see what choices people pick to know how to better adjust the content. This information could be highly needed in the future portal updates, please consider adding it.

We still don’t have any information about our retention, how can we possibly test early access or important gem choices if we don’t know how it works for our stories.

Can you please hire someone who has time to actually answer the questions honestly and share with us the information we need to really develop on the app? That would be highly appreciated.

26 Likes

So in short this is a way to force everyone to put gem choices in their stories if they want to rank higher/keep their rank, thus encouraging readers to buy gems ? :thinking: honestly that’s the vibe I’m getting and I’m not liking it I’m sorry :confused:

6 Likes

Can someone explain this better because I don’t understand :confused:

:woman_shrugging:t5:

This seems so bizarre to me. My understanding is that the number of reads will still count towards your rank but if you don’t have gem choices you will have to get substantially more reads than if you have gem choices to rank better. Idk. I don’t like where all of this is going.

3 Likes