Information Unification in a Post
View for new post and unification information
In the VKontakte news feed, the metric Time Spent (user engagement time) is highly important. The more time a person spends in the feed, the more revenue the company generates from advertising. Our global objective was to increase this time. Through research and a series of AB tests, we concluded that there are several problems to address and challenges we encounter.
In the course of working on this task, it's also essential to consider that the platform already hosts a wide variety of content formats, namely:
Photos, Music, Polls, Files, Products, Services, Geopoints, Clips, Videos, Articles, Albums, Stickers, Podcasts, Stories, Mini-Apps (Services), Playlists, etc.
In our post, there is a large amount of information, and if you notice what you need, you can thank me)
The thing is, inside the posts, metadata with geolocation, source, and clarification of ownership (for selected friends) appeared over time. Each type of metadata was located in different places, which was very inconvenient for users and also greatly increased the height of the publication.
From our research, we understood that the post metadata is indeed scattered, making it difficult to find information in long posts.
The Path to a Solution
We didn't want to add an additional field because logically all the information should be located in one place. Our initial idea was to place a unified entry point in the post settings, or in other words, in the "three dots". However, in this case, the author would have had to make two clicks to access the desired information, and that would result in very long flows.
Let's imagine that you are the author of a large community and you want to check the reach of your posts. You would have to go into each post and click twice. Terrible, isn't it?
We went further, and I started considering the option of reducing the number of screens. However, in the end, it seemed illogical to me to move the information about the post to a separate screen when there is already a post header.
The task was indeed complex because the post header contains parameters such as:
👉 Verification, Translation, Advertisement, Government organization, Friends' favorites, Emojis, photo update status, added photos status, tagged in a photo, Collaboration, Prometheus (Trends for authors), VK Donut, Bookmark addition status
There is a lot of information, so at this point, I began developing an algorithm to display the most relevant information for the author. Below, you can see a metadata hierarchy scheme for developers that describes the structure of displaying all the necessary information.
Multiple avatar sizes were also tested. A size was found that didn't distract users from consuming content and allowed for easy access to the author when needed by simply clicking on the avatar.
What was the result in the end?
Thanks to this update, we reduced the post height, displayed all the most important information for the user in the post, and emphasized collaboration, which increased the number of clicks to authors. This, in turn, boosted their subscriptions and the time users spent in the community's profile.
If you're interested in exploring all the possible variations with well-thought-out logic, you can take a look at the document below.