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Nick from Wattpad here. Let's talk about featuring.
First, I want to make clear what our goal is with featuring. We want to recognize and elevate writers on Wattpad that bring unique, distinct, or interesting stories to the platform. With that said, we've felt that as we've grown, the featuring system has become rather limited and isn't always delivering on those goals.
Our last major update came in June/July of 2017. We removed restrictions around completed stories and made all spots on the featured list only last a short, limited time. This was to try and give more exposure to more stories, and we felt we succeeded. We also removed the application system as it was very limiting, only allowing in those who knew where to find the application, or knew it existed, and leaving everyone else in the dark (around half of all applications we received were from users who had already applied before or were already featured). We're definitely aware that applications gave writers a sense of agency around their stories, and this is something we continue to closely monitor and gather feedback around to see if there is a better solution.
That said, we have always felt we could do better at delivering on this goal of truly elevating stories. One of our biggest blockers was on the technical aspects of featuring, and where it sat in the product. A featured story is only featured in its own category. But stories often have multiple genres within them, and appeal to people all across Wattpad.
If we truly wanted to showcase featured stories on Wattpad, we needed to untether them from categories.
This had lead us to a new section on Wattpad, Wattpad Picks. Stories will now be featured there and they show up all across Wattpad, to everyone, at all times!
[That's right, it's 2 degrees celsius in Toronto, we don't like it either]
And the new technology behind this has also opened the door for us to create new lists beyond featuring. We can continue to have category based lists, and we can also combine categories, have subcategory lists, themed lists, ones built around events or holidays, staff picks, hidden gem lists, and so many more!
These lists can also be static, constantly rotating, limited time only, and everything in between.
We're really excited to get more freedom around how we showcase stories and in being able to finally show them to everyone, not just under their own category.
Sadly, this means the retirement of category featured lists, since they've all melded together into this new section. Goodbye category-exclusive featuring!
We're looking forward to getting to showcase more amazing content with our featuring system. The main list will still follow the same rules of featuring. We still look for quality, unique stories, preferably completed ones, though ongoing is fine. We read and evaluate each of them. We look for stories all across Wattpad all the time, but if you want yours to definitely be considered, tag it #featured, just like before.
Hopefully, this post sheds more light on the featuring system. We want to bring more clarity and transparency in our processes, just like the Wattys Open Letter, and we will continue to make more, similar posts.
Remember, you can also always reach out to staff with questions, like me, nick