We have an exciting update to share today! As you saw in our last blog post, we recently introduced text formatting options to the Disqus platform. Well since then, we decided that the text formatting bar needed a little addition, so we partnered with Giphy to integrate a GIF library! GIFS are an easy, fun, and low-effort means for readers to engage with their favorite sites and for publishers to better connect to their audiences.
I’m sure by now you’ve seen the hysteria, jokes, memes, articles, and watched the 2 documentaries about the infamous Fyre Festival🔥. If not, please shield your eyes, stop reading now, and don’t come back until you do! Because spoilers, y’all!!
Text formatting options, one of our most requested updates, is now available on Disqus. If you comment with Disqus regularly, you may know that Disqus already supported HTML tags to format text within comments. This update makes formatting options more visible and accessible to users and easier to use with simple one-click options.
In 2018, we saw a variety of emerging trends coming from the Digital Publishing world. We witnessed many publishers go back to basics with increased investments to SEO, which is a more stable and predictable traffic generation strategy-- versus Facebook, for example. Additionally, publishers explored the next frontier: AI, to help deliver more relevant and engaging experiences for their readers. This is a fairly new area for publishers, and if done well, it can create a serious competitive advantage. For example, the New York Times utilized data science and machine learning to determine the optimal time to show subscription prompts to readers thus increasing their subscription-based revenue . Many digital publishers made subscriptions their main priority, which is an effective strategy since it is an owned and operated monetization and distribution strategy. In addition to these traditional tactics, new website redesigns, increasing partnerships, podcasting, and networking events all contributed to the success of digital publishers in 2018 🎉.
Hard as it is to believe, 2018 is now coming to an end, and it was a rollercoaster year for digital publishers. From dealing with the fallout of Facebook's dramatic Newsfeed changes, which resulted in significantly reduced reach for most, to navigating the complex path to GDPR compliance and the ensuing changes-- publishers faced several new challenges in 2018. And while a constantly shifting digital landscape can be hard to navigate, it also opens the door for new opportunities to evolve and grow. Throughout 2018 we saw publishers give alternative platforms a fresh look, leverage new technologies, and adapt their strategies in order to grow their audiences and businesses.
Our What We’re Reading blog series is back with a fresh batch of insightful articles for you! In case you need a reminder, this series highlights our favorite articles, topics, and reports relevant to digital publishing to help our readers, publishers, and blog subscribers stay up to date with the latest information and news. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3 for some great additional reads. We’d love to hear your feedback about the articles and how the topics may be impacting your business. Now... let’s get right into it, shall we?
Audience engagement brings content to life and is the foundation of an active online community. We know that an active community can be a publisher's greatest asset. Disqus helps publishers of all shapes and sizes build, grow, and keep their communities engaged. Today we want to highlight one of our favorite online communities-- Grok Nation!
Maintaining life inside our homes is no easy endeavor. We have pets to take care of, repairs to get done, laundry to clean, meals to cook… the list goes on. As much as we’d like to enjoy these tasks (and maybe we do sometimes), they often feel tedious, tiring, and at times, overwhelming. Cue, The Spruce.
Today we have a big update to share and want to know what you think. Reactions are now available for all publishers on Disqus. Reactions are a fun, low-effort, means for readers to engage on their favorite sites and for publishers to better understand their audiences.
After talking to several top publishers and researching they handle sign-ups today, we saw an opportunity to make generating sign-ups easier and more effective. To do this, we’re sharing a new feature in collaboration with our parent company, Zeta Global, with Disqus publishers. The Lightbox tool helps publishers easily create and activate custom opt-in forms and more contextual messaging to readers based on what content they read, where they came from, total visits, and more. With more engaging and relevant sign-up prompts, publishers that work with us see 2-3x more conversions on average.