Opinions on EPISODE NEW UPDATE

I think that’s trash and I would rather delete the app then have to sit through featured stories that aren’t Classic

I don’t care if they do this because it doesn’t affect me, but they’re kinda screwing themselves over here :joy:

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This proves the new app is unskinny :flushed:

Time to bring back the old 2017 app :speaking_head:

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And what about hacker the apply i’m tired of waiting 3hours to read another story :tired_face:

I really do think that this new UPDATE is extremely counterproductive. Not only for Episode but also for authors.
When people get to download Episode the only thing they see is featured stories and NOT the diversity of stories that Episode and Community authors in general offer. So, only being able to read featured stories (to be correct: being forced to read featured stories) gives the impression that Episode is an App where you have to pay to play a story and choose certain paths which is usual for featured stories but not for User Stories! And that scares off a lot of people from the App. Community authors do not benefit because they literally get less new readers & Episode and the community in general doesn‘t benefit from it and actually I don‘t see any advantage in it. Episode is just miserably attempting to promote their featured stories because almost over 90% of the active readers don‘t really read them. In my opinion, if Episode tried to promote more community authors and would be open to feature stories in all different kind of genres they would greatly benefit from this. Also, I do think that some of their featured stories are really good, but the amount of gems you sometimes have to spend just to wear an outfit is literally crazy. Not only because it isn‘t really worth but also because people wouldn‘t want to spend such much money.

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Hi everyone, @ViviOfficially’s friend is seeing whats called the on-boarding experience for Episode. In the mobile games industry its super common to change the initial experience new players see when they first download a game. This is used to introduce new people to an app. It also usually includes some sort of instruction on how to use the app - for example ours introduces new readers to the Favorites shelf and how to use it.

We have done extensive testing and found that giving new player access to everything in the app (featured stories, user stories, profiles, event shelves, mobile creator, etc.) all at once is very overwhelming and confusing. So much so that they tend to not stay with Episode for very long.

If we ease new players into the platform by having them read some chapters from featured stories first and then introduce them to all the other things on the platform more gradually, they tend to stay with Episode longer and become members of the community. @EliseC is correct that it used to be a couple of weeks, but we’ve changed it now to reading a certain number of chapters. Currently I believe it’s between 10 and 20, but its possible that could change in the future.

Many of you have commented about not liking the featured stories, or preferring user stories and thats okay! This experience is designed for people who have never heard of Episode before and mostly don’t know that user stories exist. I hope this helps clear things up!

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Have the Episode Team considered having one or more community stories on the shelf as well? To show that not all stories earn gems and that they are made by readers like them? I understand this is in an effort to make it easier, but I think the way it’s currently run limits Episode’s potential. A first-time reader who downloads Episode might get discouraged if they see there’s only 3 stories to read at first, especially with only 2 passes. Personally, if it were me, I would not be interested in continuing to play the app because the featured stories listed are not my style. Just my two cents!

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This has to be the stupidest thing this company has done so far.

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Do you like classic? I’m not a fan myself. :))

They do this off and on. I remember having to read a featured story when I first joined. If they see the stats doing poorly, they’ll switch it up.

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If there’s a genuine problem where you have to restrict readers’ options, maybe you could consider adding a variety of stories to the initial shelf instead of sticking with drama, romance, and celebrity fanfiction. For example, when I first downloaded Choices, I had the opportunity to choose a genre and I got to read a fantasy story, which I genuinely enjoyed even though I couldn’t access any other stories at first. If I had downloaded Episode without knowing about user stories and had to choose between the six stories shown there, I never would have stuck with the app. I don’t think the problem is that people are limited to a few stories so much as it is that the few options they have aren’t very appealing, especially given the fact that The K*ss List came under fire for suspected plagiarism, It Starts with a Bra is still controversial because of the love interest’s behavior and its entire premise, and Cameron Dallas is known to many for being racist over Twitter and not much else (though I’ll admit the plot itself would interest me if I didn’t know that).

There are also people who join exclusively because they’ve heard about user stories (I’m one of them), so an option to bypass the limit for people who either already know how to use the app or are tech-savvy enough to figure it out could also help while not overwhelming younger readers who are completely new to this.

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I think the “unlocking” bit is intriguing and offers new users something to look forward to.

Thanks for the explanation, Liz. I understand that Episode needs to try out different methods to see what works best, but I also have to echo the concerns of others that this new method could be extremely off-putting, especially for users who prefer genres outside of romance. While I understand that the “core” audience seems to like romance most, it might be nice if they can see that Episode actually does offer a wide variety of choice (I mean, that’s one of the things I like most about the app!) and that not all stories have gem choices.
At least having the search function and the weekly shelf might be some nice additions that aren’t overwhelming?
This new onboarding process just seems time consuming especially as- don’t you only get two passes when you first start the app? It’s going to take new readers a while to be able to unlock more than bra stealing or sexy bad boy featured stories.

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I’m more of an INK girl but Classic featured stories are generally well written unlike INK and LL featured stories

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It’s like Episode is purposefully digging its own grave. Episode is quickly becoming more and more useless.

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Hi Liz,

I believe this should be something people can opt out of. Many people download the app to support their friends who are writing user stories, so it is a massive turn-off from them if they can’t access those stories straight away. I understand Episode can be overwhelming, but is there a way to bypass this?

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Honestly this would be great if they wrote more than romance genre, some people won’t be interested in reading 3 stories of romance. Just sayin

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I understand that there are new users that would be unaware of user stories, but the featured stories are only romance stories. What if some of them are not into that genre? Instead of restriction on the stories they can read, why not have a walk through on the app instead? My friend downloaded the app to support me when I publish my stories and read the user stories I shared to her.

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Limelight is my fave… I can read INK as I don’t hate it, but I definitely prefer Limelight. It’s so much more sleek and elegant in my opinion, and far more realistic. I actually have a story in LL:))

Personally not a fan of this update at all. Of course it doesn’t directly impact my reading experience, but I do feel for the new readers who will have to go through this daunting experience. I understand the objective they had in mind, but I don’t think it was executed properly. By limiting new reader’s choices to official/featured stories not only are they giving them the impression that the entire app is about bad boys, but it’s also telling people that the only way to read on the app is to pay. Seems counterproductive to me. I can see why they’d think this would work in their favour, the less reads user stories get, the more reads they get, but it won’t play out like that. They need to recognize that user stories have far more of an influence on the app’s retention rate in comparison to their own stories, but it seems like they’ll eventually learn now with this absurd update.

3 Likes