The Feed is a scrollable list of cards (similar to the feed in the Twitter or Facebook apps), with each card containing a reading suggestion for the user. These suggestions will be based on a number of factors, including the user's previous reading history in the app, categories of articles that the user will likely enjoy, articles that are currently trending, etc.
The feature (already present in the iOS app, and upcoming in the Android app) enhances the user experience of the "home" screen in the app. The current "home" experience in the app (showing the Main Page) is sub-optimal: the daily "featured article" is of interest to a small fraction of our users, and the "in the news" items are not presented as prominently as they can be. And yet, this is the first thing that the user sees after installing and launching the app. Therefore, the home screen is our chance to make the best possible first impression on the user, so that the app becomes more of a destination for the user, resulting in improved user retention and increased pageviews.
In addition, each card in the feed will emphasize sharing of the content, to reflect the "community of readers" strategy under which the Android team is operating. Therefore, the success metric for this feature will be improved retention, as well as an increase in shared content from the app.
Product questions / ideas
- Which types of feed cards make the most sense to surface at the very top?
- What kinds of A/B tests can we run to determine effectiveness of the feed? (e.g. order of cards, types of cards, layout, etc.)
- Will we allow the user to "dismiss" cards from the feed? ("no longer show this type of card")
- How might feeds play into notifications for the user? (e.g. notification to "continue reading" the last-opened article)
- What about feed-derived widgets for the user's OS home screen? (e.g. a widget that shows this hour's trending article)
More specifically, here are the types of cards that can be included in the feed (not all of these will be included in the MVP of the product):
The feed will contain cards that represent articles that are currently trending. The definition of "trending" can be interpreted in multiple ways: most-edited article within the last day, most-visited article within the last week, etc. This is to be decided.
Continue reading ___
If the user was previously reading a certain article, then exited the app, and hasn't returned to the app for a sufficiently long time, a card in the feed will appear to remind the user to continue reading that article, at the position where the user left off.
Because you read ___
Based on the last item in the user's reading history, the app will generate suggestions for further reading, and place cards in the feed that represent articles related to the last-read article. As the user scrolls down through the feed, we can provide suggestions based on articles further back in the user's reading history.
Articles nearby you
Articles physically near the user, based on GPS location.
In the news
Articles about current news events.
Featured article of the day
This is the article that is featured on the Main Page of the wiki. If the user keeps scrolling down through the feed, we can show featured articles from previous days.
Feature picture of the day
This is the daily featured picture on Commons. If the user keeps scrolling down through the feed, we can show featured pictures from previous days.
A completely random article (with an option to load another random article, by swiping the card), or possibly a random article within a specific category of articles.
- This work can be tracked in this Phabricator work board: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/tag/android-app-feature-feeds/