Episode is always testing new features and experiences for our authors and readers. One of these tests, which we began in 2018, was our Social Feed. Most of you will have not had the Social Feed in your app, as we only rolled it out to a small portion of players.
Over the Social Feed’s life, we received feedback that it didn’t improve authors’ or readers’ Episode experiences like we’d hoped it would. Based on what we’ve learned, we’re working on removing the Social Feed from the app in the coming weeks.
To be super clear, we are NOT talking about your Author Profile and favorite shelves. Those WILL NOT be removed as a part of this. Profiles, including your published story shelf and recommended shelves, will remain in the app so you can continue to see others’ bios and written or recommend stories.
Here are some screenshots of my profile, just to show you what will be staying in the app:
A shame to see this feature go, especially since most of us didn’t have it and were waiting for it to be rolled out to everyone. With that said, I’m excited to see what new things the team is planning!
FINALLY this thing gets addressed after being in beta for like 500 years.
I agree with what some have already said in this thread and what most people are probably thinking; the fact that most people never got it is most likely the main reason it didn’t improve authors’ experience in the way that you hoped for. It’s a shame because so many of us who didn’t have it desperately wanted it, but at least now we know everyone will have the same layout. And if it means Episode can put more time and money towards fixing the overlay glitch improving other areas of the app then I’m all for it. I’m just happy we actually got an official update on what happened with this tbh
I think the reason why it ultimately failed is that if only a certain amount of people were able to see and post using the social feed, then of course it would do poorly in increasing reads and author retention ratings. It’s not like new assets being shown in featured stories exclusively first because that is still reaching whoever chooses to read the story. I feel this needed a bigger roll-out to be tested properly.
At the same time, I imagine it was a big unnecessary drain on both storage and resources, so it’s probably for the best. It didn’t seem like it was doing much more than what an Instagram account could provide.
I actually enjoyed using this as a way of notifying my readers of new chapters or changes happening. Not everybody has Instagram or twitter to find my stories and often my posts are featured, meaning all kinds of people can see my post and discover my story! I gained a lot more interaction with my stories this way.
However, and this is a major issue, I had a few messages from people asking my age and asking me to add them on WhatsApp. This kind of thing is worrying, especially when it’s an app aimed at young, impressionable teens and we all know that younger people sneak onto Episode. I’d hate for somebody to be groomed or potentially harmed through this and I doubt Episode has the time to read and assess every single post before it goes out onto the app. That and there was a lot of spamming.
So, whilst I adored being able to talk & converse with people, I’m glad it’s going. That being said, if Episode can find a way to severely monitor each and every post and find a safe and practical way of having a Social feed, I’d be more than happy to see it return!