So this week I had a "fortuitous" week on Line Webtoon. I was absently looking at my comic when I noticed that I was gaining a lot of subscribers, something around 30 per hour. I had no idea why this was happening. So I looked around google, nothing, no new review or anything like that. Then I finally noticed on my phone, my comic was in one of their small featured areas. Cool.
For the next 5 days, I gained a lot of attention. 1000 subscribers a day. I hit the top 30 in comedy. comments came pouring in on each page (but mostly the last page.)
This is where things got weird.
I started to notice some patterns. When I got to 6K - the "valve" promptly shut off. I went from literally 1000 subs a day to 0, or nearly 0. Each page has almost exactly 350 "likes". The views stopped abruptly at 100,000 for the month.
That's when it dawned on me that Line Webtoon is an algorithm, at least, this is what I believe. Their computer tagged my comic probably for having a good start, and put it on the front page. They "granted" me 6000 subs,100,000 views, and 350-ish likes per page. I'd say around 95% of it is not real people. 5,000 new people found my comic in a week, but only about 100 could make a comment? I think their computers said "this comic is pretty good, let's tease him, pump it to 6K and 100K views." I do think some of it is organic. Comments are real, and the rating is real. I also believe this is why LWT has no forum. People would wonder why the participation there is minimal compared to the supposed "audience".
I think this is how Line Webtoon controls the money going out. I don't think their audience is nearly as big as they say it is, all of these big numbers are designed to get Webtoon artists excited, but not actually pay them.
I'm not going to complain, however. I picked up four new patrons (of 5,000 new subs... ok) and made some new contacts via the messaging. I think some of it was real. Maybe 5%.
I intend to not stop producing next month. It will be curious to see if the page views return right back to around 20K for the month, all of these magical new subs and views disappearing in the wind.
Anyway. Just an observation.