The Steem release notes for 0.12.0 can be found here.
As of next Tuesday, a major change to payout scheduling will go into effect. The payout schedule refers to the payout that currently occurs 24 hours after the post is submitted. In this timeframe that your post has the ability to accumulate votes before it is frozen.
Below is the actual release notes for the payout schedule change:
Each discussion goes through a two stage payout. The first one is nearly identical to what currently happens on a new discussion except that we are weighting payout times by 12 hours instead of 24. This should cycle through currently trending content quicker. There is a second voting period set to 30 days after the first payout. This should help posts that don't have immediate viral success accumulate votes and have more consistent payouts in the long run. After the second payout a discussion becomes "frozen". The discussion is no longer editable and new replies are disabled. Users can still vote on comments in these discussions as a "nod" to the author without costing their posting power or awarding reward shares.
What does this mean for me?
Trending content will cycle quicker
The first major change to the payout schedule will be to the initial payout timing. This will be moved down from 24 hours to 12. This will hopefully increase the change of content hitting the trending page.
A second payout will be added 30 days after the first payout
This awesome addition will allow users who's posts were not initially noticed but became much more notable after the initial 12 hours to still obtain a payout. This may help many of the users who post in off-peak hours to still obtain the rewards for their hard work.
Voting after these two payouts will be enabled as a way to give a "nod" to the author
We've all been there. You search and find a great post that was exactly what you were looking for. Unfortunately you cant give the author the thanks they deserve. Well now all users will be able to still vote on comments for the post even after the post has been "Frozen" after the second payout. The best part is that no voting power is lost as part of the comment voting
Thanks for all the hard work guys and here's to another great release!
Check out my post on how the next release will reduce spam!