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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.
Strong relationships with our publishers and users are essential. A critical part of these relationships is establishing trust and confidence, which is why privacy has always been a priority. Over the last several years we made regular updates, geared towards respecting users’ privacy and ensuring a safe experience on Disqus.