Featured Video has been a controversial feature. It helped achieve the goal of removing a lot of ad clutter and performance issues on wiki pages, but the content just didn’t work. Way too many videos are of too low quality, and many of them quickly fell out of date or relevance. Plus, the video player is really big, the videos were made almost entirely without community involvement, and they were added above community content.
As a result, we have a product and content on the site that editors resent and doesn’t provide the right value to the broader audience. It made money for Fandom, but it cost us a lot—for many of you, that includes your trust in us. A lot of talented people tried to make it work, but no matter how good the intentions may have been, a feature that benefits Fandom but doesn’t benefit communities is not a good feature.
So today, we’re announcing a change in strategy:
- We've disabled Featured Video for wiki editors. As of today, we have disabled Featured Video for all logged in users. So if you are logged into an account and you are reading this, you should no longer see Featured Videos. We’ve added an option to your account preferences to re-enable it if that’s something you want to do, but generally we know that editors usually don’t like Featured Video so we defaulted to disabling it for you.
- However, it’s still enabled for logged out users. As of a few weeks ago we’re no longer producing new Featured Videos. Our goal is to replace Featured Video with something new in the long term. However, the existing ones still bring in millions of dollars in advertising revenue. This is a significant amount of money, so removing them entirely without a replacement feature would significantly hamper our plans to make major updates that benefit communities—some of which you’ll hear more about soon.
- We’re committed to developing a better replacement. We’re in the early stages of thinking about how to replace Featured Video, but we don’t know what that will be yet. What we do know is that it has to be something community-driven instead of just Fandom-driven. It needs to be done thoughtfully, keeping the long-term implications in mind, and provide you and the broader audience with a great experience so we don’t find ourselves in another situation like this.
That last part doesn’t just impact Featured Video. Being thoughtful and thinking of the long-term implications of any change we make is something that we’re going to be a lot better at moving forward. Our goal is to make decisions that move us all—Fandom the company and communities alike—toward long-term success and growth so we don’t introduce a feature and in a few years find it's out of date or causing issues.
We’re just getting started on more editor- and community-focused changes. You’ll hear more of our long-term plans very soon. In the meantime, please post any questions about this change in the comments!
Brandon Rhea Fandom Staff
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