Going into 2017, more than ever, we see publishers investing in tools to build their own, site-specific, communities and engage with their audiences. Some of the examples that we see from top publishers are premium or paid content, subscriptions, newsletters, and site-specific account systems. The unifying theme across all of these tactics is a desire to have more control over audiences and more powerful means of engaging and retaining readers. Our goal is for Disqus to amplify these tools and tactics to help publishers who use them be more successful. To do this we will release new, subscription-based versions of Disqus later this year that will give publishers more control over their audiences and more customization options.
Announcing New Versions of Disqus: without ads, for professionals, and for businesses
The new versions of Disqus will introduce exclusive professional-grade features and the ability to remove ads. We are continually working with top publishers to better understand their needs and build new features to meet those needs. For the initial launch, we plan to offer:
- Enhanced Single Sign-on - The ability for publishers to tightly integrate Disqus with their own, site-specific, account systems and limit commenters to subscribers.
- Robust Moderation Tools - More powerful tools, including Shadow Banning, to help publishers elevate the quality of their discussions while spending less time moderating.
- Branding and Customization options - The ability to remove Disqus branding from the comment embed and further customize the look and feel.
- Audience Analytics - An advanced suite of analytics that will help publishers better understand their audience, how certain articles are performing compared to others, and the impact of engagement.
- Content Promotion - For our top publishers who subscribe, we will leverage our network to promote their content.
- Subscriptions - Growing a base of loyal subscribers is a key part of many publishers’ audience strategies. We’re working on better tooling for publishers so that they can convert more engaged readers and commenters to subscribers.
Is Disqus still free to use? Will it remain free to use?
Yes! Disqus’ fully featured basic service will always remain free to use. Publishers can install Disqus on their sites anytime, for free, using a plugin or universal code. The basic version of Disqus is supported by advertising. Ads are powered by Disqus’ Reveal system, which is highly configurable and allows publishers to choose from multiple different ad positions.
We know that ads may not be a good fit for all publishers and all sites. For these publishers, we will provide a simple option to remove ads altogether. For an inexpensive monthly fee publishers will be able to completely remove ads and take advantage of all of Disqus’ basic features and functionality. We will release finalized pricing for this offering soon.
Do all sites using the free version of Disqus need to run ads?
For small, non-commercial sites that make up over 95% of our network, advertising will be optional. These sites will be able to use Disqus’ ads-optional subscription, free of charge. Larger, commercial, sites that elect to use the free version of Disqus will be supported by configurable advertising and have the option to earn revenue through the Reveal program.
When will these new versions of Disqus be available?
We expect to launch these new offerings by March 2017. We will provide more details well in advance of the planned March release. In the meantime, we encourage publishers to reach out to us to discuss their needs and learn more about upcoming features.
What about publishers who are currently using Disqus?
For publishers who are currently running Reveal, nothing will change. In the coming months, Publishers who are only running Engage will have the option to run one or more ad positions or subscribe to one of our new versions at a low cost. We know that publishers have a lot priorities on their minds for 2017. That’s why we want to provide our publishers with all of the relevant details and give them ample time to make the decision that is right for their publications and businesses. Over the next several months we will be working with publishers individually to help them figure out what version of Disqus is right for them.
We are very excited for 2017 and look forward to working with publishers from across the web to help them grow their audiences. If you have any feedback on what we are working on and / or ideas for new features that you think we should consider, please leave us a comment.