At Disqus, we love to stay up to date with the latest news, events, and trends in the world of digital publishing. It helps us to understand the challenges that today’s publisher face and better support them with new tools and strategies. Team members across sales, customer success, product, marketing, and engineering regularly share their favorite stories. We even have an internal slack channel devoted to sharing the latest, most relevant, and most interesting articles that are impacting the digital publishing industry.

Starting today, we are testing a new series of blog posts, “What we’re reading”, to share our favorite news, posts, and reports, relevant to digital publishing, with our publishers, readers, and blog subscribers. We’d love to hear your feedback about the articles and how the topics may be impacting your business. Also feel free to share other articles that you enjoyed reading that we may have missed!

Publishers warm to Google, but still worry about getting crowded out in search results

Lucia Moses - Digiday

Over the last year, the amount of referral traffic that Google sends to publishers grew. Improvements to AMP, the Facebook News Feed changes, and ending first-click-free were all reasons for publishers to look favorably upon Google. However, Google’s effort to provide answers to search queries quicker, with fewer clicks, has publishers worried about losing clicks to their pages from searches.

Guide to Audience Revenue and Engagement

Elizabeth Hansen and Emily Goligoski - Tow Center for Digital Journalism

Fair warning, this is a long report. But, it's definitely worth a read if you are considering new revenue streams like donations, subscriptions, or memberships and looking for some tips on how to grow revenue by increasing audience engagement.

With in-article chat bots, BBC is experimenting with new ways to introduce readers to complex topics

Ricardo Bilton - Nieman Lab

We’re always excited to see new, innovative, methods of audience engagement. The BBC is testing chat bots that help engaged readers get up to speed on background information and additional context that will help them better understand the articles they read.

After years of testing, The Wall Street Journal has built a paywall that bends to the individual reader

Shan Wang - Nieman Lab

Publishers who want to succeed with paid offerings will need to think like product marketers. One critical piece of this is understanding that different users will have different experiences with your product. Those who can tailor their offerings to deliver more personalized and optimized experiences for individual users will be set up for success.

Facebook and Google’s duopoly status might not be so safe

AppNexus - Digiday

It’s no secret that Facebook and Google (the duopoly) make up the majority of the U.S. ad market (almost 70%). However, more than ever, brands are looking for alternatives as issues with inventory quality and brand safety take center stage.

Facebook's algorithm has wiped out a once flourishing digital publisher

Mike Shields - Business Insider

LittleThings, a Facebook-first publishers, who had amassed over 12 million followers on the platform is shutting down. The decision comes on the heels of Facebook’s recent News Feed algorithm change. Since the update, LittleThings lost roughly 75% of their organic traffic, causing them to shut down.

Facebook to launch a Local News Subscription Accelerator

Sara Fischer - Axios

Facebook has gone from friend, to frien-emy, to outright enemy for many publishers in recent months as their recent changes left publishers feeling high and dry. The story above is a great example of this. However, this week Facebook announced a $3 million investment in a pilot program to help local newspapers improve their subscription efforts. We’re curious to see the results.