How comments help with audience engagement
A self-generating source of content, the comment section is an excellent way for publishers to increase audience engagement. It allows for a multitude of opinions to co-exist, hence supplementing the report with many perspectives. Readers can add on to the main report with real time updates. Comment sections can also be extremely helpful in gauging public sentiment. What your audience is thinking about, what they are interested in, what questions they have for you, it all comes across in their comments.
People can share their own experiences and ideas which in turn makes the original report more well-rounded. This not only adds value to the original report but also improves the overall ranking of your content, as having relevant comments on your posts will help you get more organic traffic.
By giving your users a safe and conducive environment to engage in intelligent conversations, you earn the loyalty of these users as they will be encouraged to keep sharing relevant content and opinions.
Suspension of comment sections
As online audiences grew, so did the pain of moderating conversations on the web. Toxic comments, spam bots and trolls overtook most comment threads, making it impossible for netizens to have fruitful debates and discussions. Anonymity allowed people to post hateful, racist and denigrating comments against journalists, fellow commenters and popular figures without the fear of any consequences. 22% of Internet users who participated in a 2014 Pew Research Center report said that they were harassed online in comment sections.
As meteoric as its rise, from 2012 onwards, most major news publishers suspended comment sections from their websites despite being desperate for user engagement. For instance, in 2013, Popular Science became one of the first major publications to ditch its comments feature, citing studies that found that blog comments can have a profound effect on readers' perceptions of science. Within the next two years, publications like Reuters, The Huffington Post, CNN, Vice Motherboard and Bloomberg, either re-designed their websites without the comments section or made provisions for a gated comments section.
Most of these news websites deferred comments to their social media platforms from their websites.
“Those communities offer vibrant conversation and, importantly, are self-policed by participants to keep on the fringes those who would abuse the privilege of commenting,”
Dan Colarusso, Reuter’s executive editor.
Dan Colarusso wrote in the company's announcement on dropping the comments section and shifting discussions to social media platforms.
Comments section 2.0
One of the principle elements of journalism is that it must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise. News organizations have realized that they should treat reader comments with the same level of consideration they treat their own stories. They should become a driving force for better online public discourse. Delegating the job to Facebook and Twitter is not the way to do it.
Taking these concerns into consideration, news organizations are now looking for innovative ways to reintroduce the comments section. Leading news publishers are using machine learning to moderate comments. These tools filter new comments by referring to a record of decisions made by human moderators and help in controlling the toxicity of the comments.
Metype: Audience engagement redefined
Metype by Quintype is a platform for increasing user engagement. It can be embedded within any web page or mobile app. There are several components of Metype that can be integrated into your site to increase your user engagement. These features help you manage and target users and monetize.
Metype is not just a commenting tool. With reactions, sharing options across social media channels and comment moderating abilities, it’s a complete user engagement solution. In order to help publishers handle toxic comments, it’s also integrated with Jigsaw’s Perspective API to provide moderators with a toxicity score.
Metype provides a feed that represents audience activity on your site. The Live Feed feature re-circulates popular content among your audience, highlighting real time posts and comments without requiring a page refresh. This keeps your audience hooked and encourages engagement.
The Metype commenting solution is a safe and innovative way for content producers to kickstart and sustain meaningful online conversations which will help them build loyalty and more engagement on their website. You can now get all of Metype’s features for free!
Sign up for a 14-day unrestricted free trial of Quintype. Experience the seamless content creation process and simplified website management.