On July 29th, 2015, I published Ramifications of Miiverse Redesign Summer 2015. It was a great, detailed article outlining each of the changes that happened with Nintendo's summer 2015 Miiverse redesign that dramatically affected Miiverse, and presented my thoughts about how each of those changes would change Miiverse usage and activity. It was published the day the redesign took into effect.
It's been over half a year since the redesign, although the banner proclaiming that the redesign occurred remained at the top of several Miiverse pages for months after the redesign. (It's finally gone.) It's time to see if I was right, and if there were any other smaller updates since the major redesign. (Spoilers: There were. Several. They fixed things.)
Reviewing the Alleged Ramifications
I said a lot in that previous article, but here were my statements in terms of outcomes:
- Changing one stream of posts in a community to four (Play Journal, Drawings, Discussions, In-Game Posts) would make things more difficult to find, less fun, and it's over-organised.
- The best place to make posts is the Drawing section.
- Replacing the Activity Feed with the Play Journal would result in a loss of entertainment.
- The 30 posts+comments per day policy is stupid, and reduces the total new daily quantity of content on Miiverse.
- Courtesy and good manners will be reduced on Miiverse.
- Community and close-bonding will be discouraged.
- People will be scared away from Miiverse.
|I can speak for myself, and note my metrics are mixed compared to when you saw them half a year ago.|
Only one additional Miiverse violation in that timespan!
We know there was a shift in which communities got activity — the New Super Luigi U community did not exist as it does today pre-redesign and is always active. To get that, there had to be activity taken away from other communities. The very fact that this is a zero-sum game in a post-redesign world is indicative of the fact that content HAS to be less than before, because it wasn't a zero-sum game before. Before the redesign, if one community gets activity, it did NOT take away activity from another community. Both communities (though there are several hundred on Miiverse, and you can see most are dead) could prosper.
|The last row in bold are averages.|
We can see material differences in the community sections. Discussions are significantly more likely to get comments. Drawings get slightly more Yeahs, though in the evening, Discussions do. Play Journals are significantly more cluttered and filled with more stuff than the other sections (they get significantly more posts per time unit than the other sections).
The reason for this likely has to do with the fact that when you access Miiverse while a game is running on your system, it prompts you to the Play Journal section. You have to go out of your way for the other sections, and it seems that people are more likely to access Miiverse while playing a game than accessing Miiverse for the sake of going on Miiverse. I don't know if most of the people who use the Play Journal even know that Miiverse has other sections, like how most people who post In-Game things on Miiverse don't know Miiverse is something you can freely browse.
This suggests that the Play Journal functions as a dumping ground, while legitimate users of Miiverse use the other sections. They are not visited at the same rate, and why should they be? Nintendo arbitrarily separated sections of the community that take multiple clicks to access. People would rather click once and see all the content available. I know I think of Miiverse as a game, but it's silly that a social network — one that really is more analogous to a forum than a social network — requires its people to strategically think of where to post to get exposure and be able to talk to people.
Chances are, if you posted in the Activity Feed before the redesign, you knew how Miiverse worked. You had to go out of your way to access it, and you could reap the benefits of screenshots from any game. Chances are, if you use the Play Journal now, you don't know how Miiverse works.
I can't prove that courtesy on Miiverse got reduced over time, but I can demonstrate the lack of it. I wrote an article last month stating that of the many rescue requests I've done in Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, there is an unfortunate lack of Thank-You Mail or even thank you comments. Why is that? Do people not want to use their posts for the day? Do they post the rescue request in the Play Journal and then never come back to Miiverse because they think they'll get some sort of in-game notification? Regardless, the redesign can be traced back to all of these problems.
Updates Since the RedesignThere were a few updates since the redesign occurred July 29, 2015. These have made Miiverse better, and have improved the redesign.
A More Accessible Screenshot Album
Through the August 19, 2015 and November 11, 2015 Miiverse updates, people could use images saved in the Screenshot Album in posts and comments for any of that community's sections. While we don't have the luxury of posting, say, the OBJECTION! from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney in any community we want, sticking to a few communities to do most of your conversations pays off. For me, that would be Super Smash Bros. 4's community and sub-communities.
Look at just a fraction of the screenshots I've saved for Miiverse usage that I can pull up at any time:
|I have a picture of myself for any situation. It comes in handy, mostly for the Support Bowser Jr.! sub-community.|
These updates fixed my initial complaint when the Screenshot Album was introduced. Good. It makes it a very valuable addition. ...Perhaps the only value-added addition, but still.
Renovated Web Miiverse: Now With Ads
This was a very controversial update, posted October 7, 2015. Basically, the web version was kind of bad-looking when the redesign first happened. As I remarked in the ramifications article, it was bad design for posts to be of the same look as everything else on the profile, and for your Yeahs to be hidden only if you look at your posts. Then it got updated to look like it does below:
|This looks much better.|
People are dismayed at the presence of advertisements, which come from DoubleClick. These ads did not exist on Miiverse before. They say that Nintendo is violating their own Miiverse Code of Conduct on advertisements, which states,
“This includes any posts containing commercial or marketing content (including advertisements; however, messages that have received permission from Nintendo and cases where an authorized URL can be attached to a post as a feature of an application are exempt), as well as any attempts to sway public opinion for the purpose of financial gain.”These advertisements have received permission from Nintendo to exist. In addition, the Code of Conduct states that to be prohibited, the advertisements must:
“Additionally, the following content is prohibited from being posted or included in messages by the Miiverse Code of Conduct.”As you can see below, the advertisements do not exist via posts or messages, but as part of the sidebar:
|Poor guy who spent a dollar. We know how he must feel to spend at the badge casino.|
Meanwhile, the advertisement features PredictIt, a political outcome betting site. Politics are also banned on the Code of Conduct.
(Note the presence of Rand Paul, whom KoopaTV endorsed. And then he suspended his campaign in shame immediately after.)
I personally don't have any issue with advertisements on Miiverse. Those are probably there because the marketing guys couldn't justify the word-of-mouth effects of Miiverse to the budget guys. You know, it'd help word-of-mouth if people could make as many posts as they wanted in a day!
Renovated YouTube community
This update happened October 14, 2015. To help the word-of-mouth effect out, Nintendo officially took over the YouTube community as the domain of Verified User Skye, who posts videos (commercials) from Nintendo's YouTube channel. The YouTube community from before still exists, it's just broken up by region now, and the url changed, so old posts on the old YouTube community are locked out of comments.
I don't really care about this update, but I know some people did and think it's a negative. Personally, I have the setting on that shows only English-language posts, which basically is a region-lock. I don't want to see unintelligible crap from Japan or gobbledygook from France when I browse Miiverse posts. Or even worse, Quebec.
Expanded Discussion section
Don't share those NNIDs or friend codes!
On the 3DS version of Miiverse, it always told you when you were making a comment how friend code sharing isn't allowed. As of some recent time, this message was extended to appear on every platform and to exclude sharing Nintendo Network IDs, or NNIDs:
|You cannot exchange publicly available NNIDs.|
This is an absurd prohibition, because all you have to do is go to someone's profile and their Nintendo Network ID is provided literally right there. Additionally, the Nintendo Network ID of the opening poster of a post is available as well, on that post.
|Right there. "PrinceOfKoopas" is my NNID. Above is the post where the screenshots from the welcome Bayonetta article come from.|
The only time this prohibition kind of prevents something non-obvious is if you're gossiping about another user and want to tell the person that third party user's NNID, since you use that to search for someone. But what if you're trying to introduce a great artist to someone? At that point, you say something like, “Check my Following list for the first person.”
The best way to get Miiverse attention now, ironically, is via Splatoon In-Game posts. While those are accessible within Miiverse, I feel like no one looks at them through that and only through playing Splatoon. After all, posts generated while playing don't seem to be moderated, since the posts for Ludwig's Clockwork Castle in New Super Mario Bros. U are mostly just people swearing. Not being moderated implies no one looks at them on Miiverse, since you can't report while playing the game.
|Note what happens at 7/30/15 and on.|
To reiterate: You get attention on Miiverse mostly from people who don't even go to Miiverse, but are just playing Splatoon. If we take out the Splatoon In-Game posts I've made from the above chart, the trend line takes an unfortunate turn negative:
|No Splatoon posts. That outlier is my Miiverse profile picture, which has been advertised for over a year now.|
You can't make it on Miiverse just by using Miiverse. The problems of how hard it is to be popular, and how hard it is to stand out and be heard by anyone, is only exasperated by the Miiverse redesign of July 2015.
You'll have to be content with being a nobody. If you're fine with that, then Miiverse is the place for you. The redesign from 2015 only helped that.
In case you haven't gotten the memo, Ludwig tracks his Miiverse activities in Excel because he believes it's a game. It seems to be a game he's pretty bad at, but he's close to 400 followers. So Follow him at NNID PrinceOfKoopas! He enjoys the fact that he can make predictions and they all come true.
Want more Excel charts? Look here for their usage analysing Splatfests!