Hello! The Merch, the new percentage models, multi-image posts, the ToS changes, hypnokink banning, etc - It was another big year for Patreon. However, as we enter 7th year of its creation, I feel some of the functionalities the service’s supposed to offer are still lacking, underpolished and direly needed. Here’s some of the few, given in the best attempt of ordering them on a scale of importance.
Better Patron Profiles (and the ability to see more information as a measure against piracy)
As it is currently, the Patron information page is incredibly under-polished. Relationship Management Center currently lists more information belonging to a patron than the Patron page itself! It’s wholly empty and amateurish looking to say the least. Some profiles even show outdated information, or have inconsistent information. Some do not show Patronage that’s already been going on, and we cannot properly see like and comments belonging to this person. Even when a patron of mine is known to leave a lot of comments, for some reason I cannot look them up in their own patron page.
I know users are given the option to hide some of such information, but… why? It feels like an arbitrary leisure to me, that would benefit us better if it weren’t there. I think the creators, if the user’s pledge is made towards them, should still have the freedom to look back on comments and likes. Such creators should also be able to see this patron’s pledge made to other creators. At the very least, their current backed up creators, like the page implies to give that information.
This is important, way more important than you might think of. My content gets constantly lifted, which does affect my control over the value prospect I’d like to deliver to my supporters (Just for a disclaimer, I don’t see piracy as lost pledges, but I see them as people not letting me properly reward those who have the generosity to support me). One of my most important tools to track down my pirates is to be able to crossreference: See what other creators they’re supporting, and see what other artworks get leaked under the same pirate handle. Currently, a Patron’s ability to hide absolutely everything from every other user makes it so us creators cannot properly do our due diligence.
I feel none of the information I request Patreon to make available to us is sensitive information that hinders the privacy or viewing experience of our supporters, and if anything should be expected from Patreon to have implemented a long time ago.
The Ability to Block Users by Email Prior to Them Supporting Us
We can block many users preemptively, given that we know of their handle on Patreon. To be able to find that, we have to be hotlinked to their Patron profile. As another piracy measure, I’d like to be able to block emails without knowing the user’s Patreon handle. I have an expansive list of known phishing and public paid account sharing emails and I’d like to mark them as fraudulent on my terms. I’m sick of being able to do anything about piracy AFTER my content is taken away and the value prospect I deliver to my patrons is absolutely ruined (more often than not, I can’t take any measures even after the fact, since I don’t know which patron of mine did it). This would be a good way to protect my content in advance.
Being Able to Enter “0” As Available Slots for a Slotted Tier
I’ve suggested this a year ago and community managers responded with positivity. It’s disheartening to see it was never implemented despite all that time.
I’m a creator who adjusts their availability of tiers constantly, almost every month. Sometimes, I’d like to show that my tier is normally available, but no slots are currently given. Unpublishing a tier is currently my only option but I’d still like to be able to show tier information, even when it’s not obtainable. I believe not being able to enter 0 is an arbitrary limitation and whoever implemented it thought it would be illogical. I’d like to infer that this conclusion is ultimately unwarranted.
Optional Descriptions/Subtitles/Captions for Image Posts to be Displayed On Patreon’s Image View
I think Patreon should emphasize that the content made on Patreon is best viewed on Patreon. I’d like to be able to enter captions to my artwork, for each and individual image for a multi-image post. This would be displayed under the image itself (scrolling through a zoomed picture would not disturb its position on mobile).
I see this as a soft form of piracy protection. With some of my artworks, I’d like to be able to enter sequential plot details or dialogues in the captions as opposed to burying it in the image. That way, when the image gets leaked by automated scrappers, they should also know to scrap this crucial material for my comics. Even if they do so, most of piracy platforms do not have designated areas to properly display this information.
A further innovation to bring would be the ability to pre-position areas of captions on the images themselves, signified by thinly stroked squares, activated by clicking/tapping on them. An option to bring more immersive comic-reading experience to my supporters aside, it would throw another curve-ball to people’s attempts at displaying these works on unintended platforms.
The Ability to Move Patrons from Tier to Tier
This one is low in the list because I’m not oblivious to ethical ramifications. Could prove to be an extensive addition, but when creators attempt to move their Patrons to a lower/different tier, a popup or a simple email notification could be delivered to the Patron for the requirement of their permission.
The Ability to Gift A Month of Free Patronage
That’s all I can think of for the time being. I hope Patreon sees these and considers their implementation. I’d like to see other creators to chip in and divulge their own ideas under this thread as well.