I understand the developers' concerns with the popular/trending tab and how it would demotivate less talented coders, and it's good to worry about younger users, but it is more important to benefit the majority of the platform, which are older and more mature coders. A way to see higher quality projects is in desperate need, because making programs isn't the only thing people do on Snap, but view them as well. It is so inconvenient to only be able to see most recent projects,90% of which are blank. Projects should have likes and comments, and depending on there amount they would show up higher on the trending page. You could have the option to look at trending and new projects, but thinking in a way that only benefits younger users is what killed Scratch. With the current system, very few people are viewing projects, which is not what you are trying to encourage. So I pest you to please, make viewing fun and interesting projects doable.
Well, first of all, don't be discouraged by the fact that nothing like this has happened yet. Right now we are busy trying to work out a mechanism to make it easy for teachers to manage class accounts without ensnaring ourselves in the hellish Family Educational Records Privacy Act or the equally hellish General Data Protection Regulation. (Don't misunderstand: FERPA and GDPR are wonderful, important steps in protecting against evil
So all the commenting, rating, etc. issues are off the table for the moment. (Unless you're a privacy lawyer, don't offer helpful suggestions about school protocols; we have too many ideas already, and at least one of us hates all of them. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.)
I won't get into "what killed Scratch," since afaik Scratch is doing just fine. But my impression is that things get popular there for many reasons, only some of which I'd want to encourage. So my first impulse, not really thought through, would be to let people upvote projects, but not to display the count to anyone except staff. We would use that as one of the criteria for a Featured Project stream. I'm thinking a Featured Project would have to involve some serious programming, not just (e.g.) rotating through a slide show. And definitely no clickbait "add your name to this project" stuff.
But no doubt if you get a reply from one of the others, it'll be entirely different. :~)