Just started to wonder about how the five-star system work

Bit embarrassing it took until now to write a topic about this, especially since by the looks of things Episode got rid of it, but whatever. Sometimes recently I think to myself how the five-star rating system affected a popularity of a story or its eligibility to be selected for a shelf or contest, whether at all, but I keep drawing some blanks. Of course, a popular story’s adherence to content guidelines can be questionable at times but it’s the minimum requirements to be seen in app searches and trending sections. Additionally, t he number and rate of reads obviously also matter for not only a story but the author’s payment. But what about the five-star rating system itself? Does it affect where a story would pop up in the app search engine? Are they a minute criterion for Episode to consider future Featured stories? Hell, does Episode actually use the star-ratings for their own beta and featured stories to collect data from the reader demographics?

Either way, I’m so confused on whether there was a concrete reason for the star rating system if they aren’t even a part of the interface for an Episode story.