New(s) Ideas: Viafoura Conversations Makes Real-Time Engagement a Reality








September 2018 New(s) Ideas Winner  

Since 2012, Viafoura has provided solutions for news publishers in the community management and audience engagement space, counting news media organizations such as GateHouse Media, Advance Local, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Graham Media Group among their clients. Now, they’re taking their idea to the next level with their new product, a suite of tools called Viafoura Conversations, launched in August.

This month’s winner of the Alliance’s New(s) Ideas contest, Viafoura Conversations promises to reinvent the way publishers are engaging with readers via comments, as well as facilitate real-time engagement with your content, all using innovative AI-powered moderation technology.

Viafoura Conversations takes the coveted community aspect of the big tech platforms and brings it back to the publisher’s site, giving you more insight into what your readers are saying and what they’re interested in through direct interaction, but most importantly, keeping them on your site longer to engage in more of your content. And greater engagement with your content means a greater probability that they will remain loyal subscribers (or convert if they aren’t yet a subscriber).

Viafoura’s demo outlines the components of its new Viafoura Conversations suite of tools for improved audience engagement.

We recently asked Allison Munro, Head of Sales and Marketing at Viafoura, to tell us more about the new Viafoura Conversations suite of products and how news media can leverage it to improve audience engagement.

What is Viafoura?

Viafoura helps over 600 media, broadcast and entertainment brands better build, manage and monetize their content, audience and data in real time, powering more than 1.5 billion interactions across 350 million active users. We power live story coverage and real-time conversations – all supported by market-leading AI Moderation technology, which ensures community guidelines are upheld in real time.

How did the idea for Viafoura Conversations come about?

Building a direct relationship with audiences is now more important than ever. And while starting as a native commenting platform, it was important we continued with the mission to connect trusted news media brands, their journalists and audiences on owned and operated channels; not just leaving conversations and relationships to social media and third-party platforms, but instead empowering news media brands and audiences to connect at the source.

What challenges does Viafoura Conversations help news media organizations to overcome?

A lot of the digital engagement tools journalists use to connect with their readers harvest the audience data or worse, sell it to other interested parties or advertisers. Viafoura is committed to providing real-time engagement tools that meet the most specific data-handling guidelines and provide insights so news media brands can build relationships with their audience and provide an enriched native user, while contributing to their bottom lines through increased membership and reader revenue.

What are some different ways news media organizations can incorporate Viafoura Conversations into their business?

In today’s media landscape, users want to engage in real-time discussions around important topics, live events or streaming and broadcast videos. Live Chat, part of the Viafoura Conversations suite, helps media producers provide that, with short-form, live conversations in a format that’s both intuitive and mobile-friendly. Meanwhile, Live Stories, another Viafoura Conversations tool, lets media providers stay on top of that real-time reporting experience, so users aren’t tempted to go elsewhere for up-to-the-minute coverage but can instead stay on site to follow breaking news, sports events or discussions on the latest TV shows – whatever it is publishers think their audience wants to engage with.

What has the response to Viafoura Conversations been like from your news media customers?

Our customers always benefit from leading technology and the benefits our suite provides, including driving the KPIs that matter in today’s changing media landscape, but more so at Viafoura, we pride ourselves on being our customers’ partner in audience engagement, working with them on a one-on-one basis and at scale to provide products that enrich their audience experiences and their bottom line.

What else does Viafoura do?

We work to provide tools that build a premium member and subscriber experience that also includes creating a safe space for audience conversations to unfold by providing market-leading AI-powered automated content moderation and community management services.

What is Viafoura working on for the future?

We want to help our customers get smarter about how they use their data to drive the outcomes that are important to their survival, and we will continue to innovate in this area.

How can publishers interested in Viafoura Conversations get started? Is there any special computer equipment or software required in order for newspapers to use this tool?

The Conversations suite of products all live in the cloud and are subscription-based services. Implemented via JavaScript on your website, Conversations products also talk seamlessly with other systems via industry-standard REST APIs. These real-time tools are customizable via CSS and flexible to set up.

What do you see as the future of news media?

We see users driving the demand for improved content and personalized product offerings via premium subscriptions, in exchange for conversion, membership, loyalty and reader revenue.

Do you have a great New(s) Idea? Enter your product or service in our contest today – winners are selected and featured monthly, with a grand prize winner who will be selected in December to receive a dedicated eblast and webinar with Alliance news media members! Entries not selected during the month they were submitted are automatically entered for the next month. Click here to learn more.

View all New(s) Ideas Winners


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