DISCUSSION: Episode can be more transparent

Hey friends,

I’ve got something on my mind today that I’ve been wanting to discuss for a while now.
The visibility and acknowledgment of community stories on @Episode.
This might get a bit controversial, but hey, that’s what I’m here for :face_with_peeking_eye:

As an active reader, I totally appreciate the diverse stories from both Episode Originals and our talented community authors. But let’s be fr, there’s this imbalance in how much spotlight these stories get, and I think it’s time we discuss about it for the sake of the entire community.

Let’s talk about community stories’ visibility. Episode does an awesome job putting their Originals right in our faces when we open the app (tbf it’s their App, but it’s about the principle…). But, and it’s a big :peach:, community stories often feel like they’re lingering in the shadows, making it a real challenge for new readers to find them. I noticed this when I got a new phone and re-downloaded the Episode App.
Sure, I get that Episode Originals are the app’s face, drawing in new users and all. But how about a fair approach? I’ve got a couple of suggestions:

1. Combine Episode Originals and Community Stories:
Can we rethink the way stories are displayed? Instead of making Episode Originals the default, how about giving community stories a turn in the spotlight? Or why not combine Episode Originals and community stories? Let popularity decide who tops the list or give our community authors the chance to shine.

2. Transparency on Reads:
What’s the tea on how many reads Episode Original stories are getting? I’m sorry but this keeps me awake at night. And you know what? Why not give the community authors the option to hide their reads if they want. It’s just about keeping things open and transparent on the platform.

I genuinely believe that making things fair and transparent in showcasing stories on Episode will do things good for Episode. Let’s celebrate the creativity of ALL authors, whether they’re part of the Episode team or the fantastic community that makes this platform so special. And let’s be real, most of us are all about those community stories anyway.

What do you think about this?

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Definitely support this! We could do with being on more equal grounds, in terms of what people can and can’t see. I especially agree with your point on the transparency of read counts. Unless I’m missing some big conversations, I don’t really see people raving over community stories. I’ve only really seen people take screenshots for the wishlist, but that’s about it.

I might have to disagree with you on your point about combining original stories with community stories, just because it might make it even harder to spot the community stories if you don’t know what to look for. Instead, I think community stories need their own page, with lots of filters and categories. (To be honest, the story library needs some updating, but that’s a conversation for another time.) I remember Episode used to have a page dedicated to their collabs with celebrities and film/TV series, like Demi Lovato and Pretty Little Liars. It’s been 10 years at this point, and I don’t think we’ve ever seen a page solely dedicated to community stories.

I’ve been playing for about 6 years on and off, so I’m not entirely familiar with all the happenings, but from what I have seen, there’s room for improvement. : /

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Supporrrttt!! I love this idea, many authors are in need of equality on the app.

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That’s a really good point. I totally get that it would have a big impact, but I think community stories have the potential to outshine Original stories, much like how YouTube creators often have content that surpasses official channels.

I might have to disagree with you on your point about combining original stories with community stories, just because it might make it even harder to spot the community stories if you don’t know what to look for.

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It’s so true I remember I had no idea about community stories when I started reading episode in 2018.
It took me months to find out and it wasn’t even because of episode, it was bc of instagram where authors promote their stories.

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I 100% agree! This is such a great idea! Maybe they could change the home screen to look a bit like Netflix - stories suggested to you based on what you read (genre), top 10 stories of the week or something like that could really make community stories more reachable.
I also remember when I had the app back in 2015, the community stories and the originals were all sectioned in the same way - side categories based on genres. I remember seeing all kinds of stories in the same place - ones with 10 reads and ones with thousands.

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Omg, this! :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

It took me months to find out and it wasn’t even because of episode

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Omg, yeah, stories suggestions would be groundbreaking!

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I agree and support this. When I was just a reader I didn’t even know community unhighlighted stories even existed cause I all episode was sharing and showing was the ones that were brought and that they were shouting out on ads and what not. I would love for my story to be advertised and so would other community authors. It’s hard gaining reads and making it on your own here on episode. Like you said, let’s share ALL creativity here on episode. ALL authors and ALL stories. Let’s not focus on the reads and the fame but what a good story brings :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Support! I also wish they had a better algorithm for the new story shelf!

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Definitely agree. They have a “What’s Hot This Week” and a “Binge-Worthy Stories” section and both of those contain stories people wouldn’t choose to read themselves (unless you’re in the minority who like Episode Original stories, I guess). They should use these sections to display community stories that people are actually reading rather than ones they put out themselves.

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Exactlyyyy! Episode has so much potential to become a much bigger platform, and they’re wasting it. It just doesn’t many any sense to me.

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honestly, they just need a better way to search for stories. :weary: Because the system they have now is just ridiculous. I don’t use instagram anymore so if i want to find something that I want to read, I have to scroll through the lists in each genre (which can be annoying and tedious).

The general consensus on what’s “good” on Episode isn’t the same as mine. And I know I’m not alone. Everyone has their own taste. That’s why the “lists” where the most popular stories on the app is all you can really choose from really sucks. Less popular community stories can get more exposure with a better search engine and a tag system.

I just don’t know why they are so adverse to that idea. It’s been something we’ve been asking for for years. Is it because it’ll be easier for people to search for and read things that break guidelines?

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I honestly believe that at this point, Episode is actively suppressing community stories. Why, you may ask? Because, for them, the only path forward is getting people to spend money on gems. The originals that are constantly thrown in your face all have exorbitant gem choices in them, and many of them use let’s say less than honorable means to try to encourage you to make those choices. With community stories, it’s become practically a requirement to have gems in your story. They say you can trend without them, but I’ve never seen this happen. Community authors actually care about the community, so most of them don’t have the same type of insane choices the originals have, and thus they don’t make Episode as much profit. So Episode “hides” community stories because typically once someone realized there are community stories, they never go back to reading originals. They may tap through them to earn gems, but they don’t really read them or spend gems on their choices.

Episode has repeatedly shown that they care more about short term profits than long term gains. This is just a product of that choice. They even put a gambling mechanic in an app aimed at children, something I’m pretty sure is illegal in some regions of the world. They clearly don’t care about the community, they only care about how much money they can squeeze out of us.

Incidentally, I hadn’t noticed that the originals don’t have read counts on them. That makes me think that they’re not doing very well. Plus, whatever the number is, you’ve gotta assume that at least half of them are just people gem farming, which means the only money they’re making on them is the advertising before you get to read the episode. It’s certainly suspicious. Otherwise, you’d be shouting from the rooftops how well the stories are doing. :thinking:

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Is it because it’ll be easier for people to search for and read things that break guidelines?

That shouldn’t be a reason since all stories get reviewed by Episode (at least he ones that are visible on the App).

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Incidentally, I hadn’t noticed that the originals don’t have read counts on them. That makes me think that they’re not doing very well.

Clock the tea :teapot:

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Support!

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They say a picture speaks a thousand words- but what about a meme?

This is pretty much my attitude towards the whole “featured” and “hot right now” categories on Episode.

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Omg, this is gold :laughing: :laughing: :heart:

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I 100% support this. There should be a spotlighted section for community writers

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