Hey WW users, please read this post and vote on this poll, as this is going to have a major impact in one of the places I’m potentially going to focus a lot of my energy (and money) over the next few months. As such, also please think VERY carefully before making your choice. This is a big one! In short – I want to gauge interest in an optional ad-free Wuxiaworld app (in ADDITION to the current mobile/desktop site, which will remain free,) that has a small monthly subscription (and potentially no ads on desktop!). Click here to go and vote, but please read everything first.
In short, one of the most requested features has been a Wuxiaworld app, and more than twelve app developers have emailed us offering their services (paid or otherwise). I’ve resisted for a long time now, partially because creating (and maintaining) an app is a whole ‘nuther ballgame that I have no experience in, would cost money, have a tremendous financial impact on Wuxiaworld’s advertising in a number of ways, as well as a create number of other issues that need to be addressed. It would be, in short, a huge amount of work that would actually end up hurting us rather than helping us in many ways.
Another issue that we’ve been having, as you all know, is mobile ads causing problems for some people. The new team we have has done great work in reducing those problematic ads, but they are still causing trouble for some, and I know some people would just love to be rid of it entirely…but mobile makes up an increasingly large amount of our views and mobile ads simply can’t be completely discarded.
Just today, however, a simple suggestion was made, that I immediately grew fond of; set up a subscription-based no-add app with lots of great functionality in it, and kill two birds with one stone. Although it wouldn’t lower the amount of work (it’d increase it), it could make up for the financial hit, AND it would address, for many, the mobile ads issue.
One way it could work, for example, is you could buy a no-ads mobile subscription for XX months through your account on the Wuxiaworld website, which would then be upgraded to ‘premium’ status and allow you to login and authenticate the Wuxiaworld app; once authenticated, you would no longer have to log in, and would be able to enjoy all of the app functionality.
Some of the functionality this could include would be:
No ads – This is a given, of course!
Offline reading – You would be able to download all of the chapters of a novel (or heck, all novels!) to your mobile device, and never again have to spend any time ‘loading’ those pages or using any more bandwidth on them.
Instant delivery – New chapters and updates for books of your choosing would automatically be delivered instantly via ‘push’ functionality (if you so choose) to your device. Never F5 spam again! (unless you want to)
Mobile-focused design – Because this is a mobile focused design and we don’t have to worry about silly thing like caches or servers (for the most part), we can put in a lot of things that people have asked for, like multi-size fonts, ‘night mode’ reading, and more! And, of course, appropriate touch-focused reading functionality!
Desktop ad-free as well?! – I need to crunch the numbers, but we might be able to make it so that with a Wuxiaworld Premium account, when logged in, you wouldn’t see any ads on desktop either!
And more! – We’d be taking constant feedback to code in and add new features to the app, to make sure that it simply works for you!
I think this is a great idea…but ONLY if there is interest. This is going to cost a huge amount of time (probably months) on both the website side to set up correctly, time on the accounting side (since we’ve never had to deal with that before), time on the app development side, and thousands of dollars in upfront paid costs as well as ongoing development/maintenance costs, so I want to be sure that people are actually interested before embarking on it. Some initial math indicates that a $5/month subscription would be our break-even point for a decent amount of users, so that’s what we’ll set it as now.
If you are interested at all about this; please go and VOTE! This poll will be up for seven days, and is going to play a huge role in determining where I’m going to be focusing some of my non-translation attention in the next few months, so please be honest about it! Thank you all!