I think that's a great suggestion - and something that we've been thinking of. One of the restraints is doubling the overall number of items on the front page, and we would want to try and tackle this will a clean, aesthetically pleasing solution that isn't going to add too much business to the overall front page experience. So... basically, we want to add more stuff while reducing the amount of stuff which is a conundrum.
I believe that there are (currently in the works) more effective solutions and opportunities to surfacing more novels on the app side then there are on the web. But I agree that separating out a trending or popular section specifically for novels makes a lot of sense especially because as is it might be a bit confusing since both have square thumbnails and isn't easily distinguishable from one another at face value.
I don't think there's a really good solution to this problem, and it is something that almost all large platforms struggle with.
Try to think about it this way, the Fresh section is the most rapidly updated section on the site and app. If you look at the last visible page (5) right now, the last series to update was a little less than 5 hours ago, meaning that the window for exposure in the Fresh section is roughly 5 or 6 hours. Depending on the day, there could be more than 1,000 updates, reducing the window to 3 hours or less. While I understand that the Fresh section is an avenue where creators can be discovered, it's not entirely effective due to the those windows of exposure.
We purposefully created algorithms for trending section to reward engaging series (novels or comics) so if creators are actively promoting their work, or engaging with their readers, they'll have a much higher chance of being on the front page for an extended period of time which benefits them more.
If we were to surface Fresh beyond what is already there, and with the style of the trending, popular, or new and noteworthy section, the window for exposure would be minutes.
Hope that makes sense!
Absolutely, and without giving away the secret formula, we try to weigh it to be as proportional as possible to give newer creators a shot.
Okay this thread is kind of getting derailed from the original discussion and purpose, so I'll be only responding to questions pertaining to the spam bots moving forward. I'll try to have more open Q&As moving forward though and hope that this has been helpful for those interested!
Update to the spam bots: We have banned several thousand spam accounts. However, there are some spam accounts that were subscribed to series. If you notice a significant drop, it may be due to this. It looks like the spam bots were automated to subscribe to series to be less suspicious.