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Users can no longer follow each other????

Discussion in 'Tes Authors' Group' started by EC_Resources, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    https://www.tes.com/author-academy/announcements/post-followers-being-discontinued

    I understand about the 'post to followers' function - it's not great and not many people use it.

    But WHY would Tes stop users from following each other?

    I, and many other Tes authors, have hundreds of followers - who specifically follow us to see when we upload new resources. We upload a lot of free stuff - and people like to to see it. Why would you stop this?

    Many of us have spent the last few years encouraging Tes users to follow us on Tes - posting about this ON social media - bringing people from Facebook to Tes. The two (social media and Tes) have been working hand in hand for authors and it DOES work as a strategy to draw people into the site. If it's not costing anything to maintain - why remove this function?

    Can you please reconsider? Many authors have spent years building up a following. Why remove that from us? I thought you wanted people to be interacting more socially on Tes?

    Tes doesn't really make use of social media itself (to promote authors) and it seemed as though the plan was to focus on improving interactions on Tes instead. I really don't understand this?

    Thanks

    Emily
     
  2. Lead_Practitioner

    Lead_Practitioner New commenter

    If the 'post to followers' function doesn't work any more it's because the 'home feed' has changed so much - I see far more about different TES groups rather than any updates from the people I follow.
     
  3. MissEHoney

    MissEHoney New commenter

    The post to followers is no loss to be honest BUT i find myself really disappointed in the follow author button being discontinued.

    It's a really easy way for users to see if an author has uploaded some new stuff. It's much much quicker than them logging onto social media AND they're more likely to see it.

    Given the algorithms in Facebook and Twitter for displaying posts etc, the posts about new products etc will get far more lost than if a user is informed there is a new resource when they log onto TES. The teachers are in the frame of mind for looking for resources when they are on here, usually when they are on FB, twitter etc they are not.

    I don't really understand this decision either?

    You've clearly outlined why you're going to discontinue the post to followers button BUT I don't see any reasoning behind why you would discontinue the follow button? It's not all about sales - as authors we also post FREE things that obviously won't get a sale conversion!
     
  4. Lead_Practitioner

    Lead_Practitioner New commenter

    I would also like to know the reason behind removing 'followers' rather than the 'post to followers' button. @TES Resource Team
     
  5. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    Is this because of the spammers that have been joining Tes recently and posting all those ads? As I don't think anyone follows those people anyway.
     
  6. penyrheol1

    penyrheol1 New commenter

    I am going to commit a cardinal sin here and mention that website across the pond.......constructively not as a critical comparison. On that website because buyers are identified you can easily see whose coming back time and again to purchase other things from your store. From that I have discovered that repeat business is frequent. I think that removing the followers function therefore is a big mistake as It will remove the prompt for previous buyers to check out your new stuff out of curiosity and, even if they do not need it at that point in time, they know it's there should they need it. The followers function is like a store loyalty card in reverse. TES, if it's causing a problem please look at other work arounds.
     
  7. Lead_Practitioner

    Lead_Practitioner New commenter

    Yes, one could speculate that this is being done to prevent users from revisiting the more established shops.
     
  8. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    If that is the case, I imagine all established authors would far rather have transparent reasoning.
     
    Lead_Practitioner likes this.
  9. penyrheol1

    penyrheol1 New commenter

    Can't think why they would do that!!! If buyers are left to peruse what's on the recent pages it may put them off. I can't speak for other subjects but some of the recent science stuff is pretty dire. Is this a knee - jerk reaction by TES?
     
  10. Outstanding_Resources

    Outstanding_Resources New commenter

    Having followers takes time and gives credibility and thus drives sales. It just can't be measured like clicking a link can.

    It makes no sense to remove functionality either!

    Can TES start listening to its authors rather than tell us what it is doing without any consultation?!
     
  11. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    Thanks for your feedback folks, we do take all you opinions on board.

    We have carefully analysed the routes users take to find and buy your resources in great detail and can assure you that a truly insignificant amount of site traffic lands on your resources through the 'following' feature. We would not consider turning off a function that benefits Tes as much as it would be benefiting the authors.

    In order to focus our business efforts on improving Tes in the ways you suggest we must also reassign business resources that are not being proven to improve the user experience. 'Post to Followers' is fundamentally tied to the 'following' function and one cannot exist without the other. The 'following' function is part of a larger site feature which is being adapted and improved and as such we will not be able to reconsider the decision but can assure you that this will enable our workforce to focus on more beneficial methods of guiding users to resources.

    As has been suggested by the author community in the past, we are investigating ways of using the data we have to encourage repeat buying of the nature you want to see from the 'following' function, which at the moment simply doesn't appear to happen on any significant level using the existing 'following' framework. We are hoping to make the automatic detection of interest in resources even more helpful than the previous user-driven 'following' approach.

    [Richard]
     
    nwilkin likes this.
  12. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    @tesAuthorTeam

    Hi. Not trying to be awkward here but we DID have followers before we could 'post to followers' though. I remember quite clearly when the function came in - as I had about 200 followers at the time. We could follow people pretty early on in the author experience.

    I'm also pretty sure users could follow each other before selling even started, when everything was free.

    Many authors really want to have followers. The only way they can do this now is by using 'that American site' or on their social media pages - which don't have to take people to Tes, but could take them instead to their own websites or 'that American site' - where they can retain contact with them. Why would you want that to happen?

    This is also taking choice of what users see on their newsfeed away from them. Tes users have chosen to follow people, whether they intend to buy what they see or not.

    Does it really cost Tes so much money to let people keep their followers? This doesn't make any sense.

    Thanks

    Emily
     
  13. Lead_Practitioner

    Lead_Practitioner New commenter

    Thanks for your reply, Richard.

    Can you please get someone to reply to all the concerned authors about the lack of payments as well please? I am incredibly worried.
     
  14. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    That being said - if it was replaced by something like a 'subscribe for updates from this author' feature (in the form of people getting an email when you've uploaded something new - like that American site does), then that would be very helpful.

    Might this be on the horizon?
     
  15. Lead_Practitioner

    Lead_Practitioner New commenter

    The school wallet and basket would be good as well...
     
    iandoublem, nwilkin and EC_Resources like this.
  16. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    Sorry if my earlier message wasn't clear. The 'following' and 'post to followers' features are both part of the same system that is being discontinued - yes, 'post to followers' was a later addition to that system. This system does more than just those functions. This system does require money, time and work to maintain but is not proving beneficial to the website or its users.

    We are looking for ways to give users benefits that outweigh the costs of this feature's removal, but I will reiterate that those costs are very very small. The data assessed included all routes to your resources originating from the 'follow' route.

    [Richard]
     
  17. PrimaryStarsEducation

    PrimaryStarsEducation New commenter

    I am most concerned as the removal of the feature will mean there is no channel of communication between authors and customers.

    If you were to replace this discontinuation with a contact buyer button this would help alleviate the lack of interactivity between authors and customers, however this has not been implemented regardless of how many times the issue has been raised. We are still unable to inform customers when products have been updated. As a result of this, authors face having their resources set to private as customers are reporting issues that have already been updated / resolved by the author. However, as authors and customers have no channel of communication, they are completely unaware of this. Ultimately, this can result in financial loss and a tarnished reputation for authors.

    To mitigate such concerns, please can you explain your newly proposed methods on how authors and customers will communicate?

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
    iandoublem likes this.
  18. PrimaryStarsEducation

    PrimaryStarsEducation New commenter

    @TES Resource Team

    A response to my above post would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.
     
  19. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    Thanks for this @PrimaryStarsEducation. We are keen to provide better ways for buyers to receive updates on changes and improvements to resources they have purchased, and for authors to be able to ensure downloaders receive messages about their work.

    The “post-to-followers” system failed to do that, however, because of the extremely limited percentage of downloaders / buyers who ever actively chose to follow. So we could not justify maintaining that functionality.

    We are working with our product team to explore better ways to allow communication and updates to pass from authors to users (rather than just be something that occurs in reviews and replies to reviews). However, we’re learned the hard way that it’s best for us not to be too specific about details or timings until we’ve had an opportunity to develop the systems and thoroughly test them!

    Sorry to be so vague about that. If you want to know an example of something we’re doing to improve how we communicate to users about new, relevant resources, I’d highlight from last week the changes to our registration systems. The increased data capture (including around subject and curriculum) will allow us to entice users back onto Tes to download resources by showing them more relevant content.

    All the best,

    Michael Shaw - Director, Tes Resources
     

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