Up to now, you could follow creators on Honest and see the stories from them in a combined feed. We have worked now on how the feed is constructed. We now include in the Honest feed also stories and responses upvoted by the people you follow.
This update presents the first iteration in order to improve the design of the feed and an experience of our existing users.
This change improves the following:
Old content is brought again to the top of the feed if upvoted
New accounts with smaller amount of followers can reach a bigger audience when upvoted by popular accounts
Users are more likely to receive rewards from upvoting, because the upvoted story is presented to their followers
For example, that's what it looks like now:
When you request your feed, we fetch last upvotes and stories. Next, we sort them by publishing time. We then add these stories to a user-specific feed cache in the memory. When you scroll to the end of the feed, another request is made with a constraint on the upper time limit - equating to the publishing time of the last post that you see in your feed. Then, these stories are added to the feed which it is sorted again.
Cache mechanism for the Honest feed
When you request the feed again, we do not recalculate it again, but simply send it directly from the cache in a memory.
In order to keep the feed fresh and do not occupy the memory unnecessarily, the feed is destroyed regularly and built again if you request it.
Thoughts for the future
As we get more users and stories posted we will improve the feed again. These are the dimensions which will guide the design:
Personalization improves user experience, enhancing engagement, retention, and conversion. At the moment, we are sorting the feed items by publishing date now, but we can also sort by user-specific rating based on the story interaction likelihood, relationship to the creator and other dimensions that we can calculate a weight for.
The feed calculation and presentation to the user presents a complex problem that can affect the performance in the future. We can persist the feed for every user and refresh it every time some of the users that you follow interact with the platform. In this way, constructing the feed can happen not on reading, but on writing time.
What do you think? Was this update a step into the right direction for Honest?