How the new content ranking algorithm helped us increase the time spent by the user in the app.

Basic algorithm for ranking posts

A year ago, when we launched MDK, we faced the question of ranking posts in the feed. Since the content in MDK is created by a multitude of authors and falls into one common feed, we had to decide which posts to show to users in the first place, and which to place a little lower. Moreover, we had to find the right balance between showing the most interesting posts and offering new content that users have not yet seen.

Hot feed rating function

Problems of hot feed formula

This algorithm of the main feed in most cases works quite well. It allows to show at the top of the feed the most interesting posts that were best rated by users, at the same time gradually replacing them with other interesting, but newer posts.

  • For example, if you open the app once every 2 hours, the hot feed does not have time to fully update. Thus, at the top of the feed, along with new interesting posts, you see those posts that you have already viewed. In this case, the search for new posts turns into a rather difficult task. You need among the variety of old and new posts to find those posts that you have not yet seen. This is further complicated by the fact that during the time you were not in the app, the rating of posts has changed, as they continued to receive new votes from other users, which means that all posts also change places.
  • If you visit the app less often than this average interval, for example, once a day, then you will most likely see only posts that came out in the last 6 hours, losing other interesting content that was created in the app a little earlier but has already dropped down in the hot feed. Thus, your overall impression of the content is reduced, since you do not see all the interesting posts for the day.

User behavior

Another problem of the hot feed, perhaps less obvious, but, in our opinion, much more important, is related to the psychology of consumption. The fact is that people like to perform specific tasks. If we clearly understand what is required of us, then we always strive to complete it in order to get a sense of satisfaction from the accomplished task.

The new feed of the best posts

We understood that we must solve this problem and offer the user a different, simpler consumption model. So, we came up with a feed of the best posts.

Results of implementation

Stay tuned to see how we create the media of the future!

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