Chinese video streaming giant iQiyi hit the jackpot this year with Story Of Yanxi Palace’s meteoric success measured through online views. However, iQiYi is also the first to drop its view count feature on all of its videos. This was done back in September to combat “click farming” which is a method to bloat the view count of selected videos by constantly replaying the said videos.
For example, I see a video of Actor A. Since I’m a fan and want him to be more popular, I will watch his video over and over again to increase view count, giving the impression that he is gaining more popularity. This isn’t an accurate system of measurement at all since it can be doctored to favor a certain series, actor or video.
iQiyi has since adopted a new, more comprehensive evaluation system to gauge a video’s popularity. Liu Wenfeng, iQiyi’s chief tech officer, called this new system the “heat index.” This system is based not on how many views a certain video has gotten, but instead, focuses on how many shares the video had, how many comments and likes it had. Basically, the heat index utilizes the user’s interactions and shares on social media to come up with a more accurate method of gauging popularity. It has been months since this has been implemented and a look at iQiYi’s top dramas shows the current top three to be 1) Like A Flowing River heat index 7485 2) The Story of Minglan heat index 7464 3) Original Sin head index 6620
Personally, I think this is a good thing as it’s a bit harder to manipulate than the usual click farming. It may also be a more reliable way of gauging the public’s tastes in stories they want to see on TV, which actors are more bankable, how long a series should ideally be, etc. It is by no means foolproof though, as some would most probably point out. But it is a step forward, albeit a small one.. Ultimately, what I’m hoping for is being able to see better content. Hopefully, this heat index plays a part in making that happen.