Community Moderation ROI Calculator

Until recently, human moderation was the only solution for managing engagement and upholding community guidelines.

Now, with the latest technology and artificial intelligence, Viafoura Smart Automated Algorithmic Moderation (SaaM) can reduce your moderation costs and effort by 90%, shifting the focus from moderation to meaningful engagement.

Want to see exactly how much you can save with SaaM? Try our ROI Calculator to uncover the potential ROI of investing in Smart Moderation. It’s simple, quick, and delivers instant insight and a detailed full report directly to your inbox.

Beyond savings, Viafoura Smart Moderation allows businesses to uphold their community guidelines and manage their conversations at scale, across any number of digital properties.

Our case studies also show:


Increase in likes per comment


Decrease in user banning


Decrease in total flags

Find out how much you can save. Try our new ROI calculator today!

Viafoura Smart Moderation Changes the Game for Community Moderation

The Trash Piles Up

Have you ever had the ‘pleasure’ of digging through the comments that pollute the web? If you have, then you are no stranger to the spam and hostility that overwhelm the comment boxes that are a huge effort for teams to manage.

Don’t Sacrifice the Flowers for the Weeds

While spamming and trolling are challenges faced by many organizations, top media companies and brands know that community is everything, and that it’s crucial to be able to listen to and engage with customers online. Unfortunately, that means constantly sifting through the many hateful comments in order to nurture a healthy online community.

Community Growth

It’s not just frontline digital teams that want to foster a healthy online environment, it’s important to their audiences and customers as well. In fact, when the quality of conversations increases, so does their audience’s engagement.


Increase in comments
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Increase in replies
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Increase in likes
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Increase in
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Increase in likes
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Cutting Through the Noise

With smart technologies like Viafoura Smart Moderation, content producers can manage, moderate and listen to their communities—without lifting a finger.

Smart Moderation automatically eliminates up to 90% of the time and effort spent moderating communities, analyzing comments and responding to customers.

Want to know how much you could save with smart moderation?
Try out our new ROI calculator today!

How does it work? Our team of linguists teamed up with our engineers to build an engine that automatically looks for patterns in language. It determines the topic, how the person felt when they wrote it, and also its context. They did this by programming every 6.5 million variation of each word in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French, with more on the horizon.

This engine is then used to moderate and listen across all owned and third party social networks to manage engagement, provide insights into urgent customer complaints, and display data and insights in one dashboard. It quickly removes negative comments and sends real time alerts about sensitive issues—such as personal attacks, subscription questions or cancellation threats.

That means that community managers don’t need to spend their resources looking over each comment or manually monitoring social networks. When a moderator logs in, they can easily review what needs their attention, focusing quickly on issues that really matter. By cutting through the clutter and allowing the most important comments to get addressed in real-time, it allows you to deliver the best customer experience.

Creating Meaningful Relationships Using Smart Moderation

By flagging and removing inappropriate comments, Viafoura Smart Moderation allows authors, community managers and social media managers to spend their time addressing important inquiries quickly and creating meaningful conversations with their audiences.

And, when your teams are empowered to engage with audiences in a timely and meaningful way, it leads to the best customer experience, higher engagement, and ultimately, higher lifetime value of each customer.

Want to know how much you could save with smart moderation?
Try out our new ROI calculator today!

Graham Media Group Empowers Online Communities with Viafoura

Graham Media Group
implements the Viafoura Audience Development Platform across its seven digital properties to uphold its commitment to celebrating local communities and giving voice to the stories that matter.

“Viafoura is a much needed and welcomed enhancement to Graham Media Group, improving the user experience and increasing audience engagement across our sites,” said Jon Beard, Director of Digital Product Development.

“Having a single platform to support all our audience development needs is a key strength to empowering our newsrooms and unique local communities.”

Graham Media empowers enables on-site interactions with a frictionless user registration, an easy-to-use content share bar, and real-time commenting across its websites. Viafoura’s engagement tools further allow users to create a personalized experience and receive real-time notifications for breaking news, social activity, and new followers.

Benefits to Graham Media’s new capabilities include:

  1. Social Login
    Removes barriers to site entry to build direct relationships with audiences
  2. Article Share Bar
    Increases social sharing and drives traffic to its websites
  3. Real-Time Commenting with Social Sharing, On-site Notifications, and Smart Moderation
    Enables real-time conversations to drive engagement, increase time on site, and increase interactions across users, authors, and content
  4. Follow Feature and User Opt-In
    Facilitates user opt-in and drives a personalized user experience
  5. Browser-Based Push Notifications
    Notifies audiences directly with breaking news and personalized alerts

Graham Media’s moderation efforts are drastically improved with Viafoura Smart automated algorithmic Moderation (SaaM). SaaM provides 24/7 real-time moderation using natural language processing and machine learning to detect, flag, and eliminate spam and abusive comments before they are seen by online audiences. These algorithms ensure Graham Media’s community guidelines are upheld to the utmost precision across its seven digital properties. Jon Beard confirms, “We’re able to focus on participating in the conversation and rewarding positive discussions across our websites.”

Connect with us today to learn how Viafoura can help you engage, discover and grow your audience.

Your Comment Section, Your Ads, Your Revenue

Display Your Own Ad Units  to Increase Profits

T here’s one question that we often hear: “Do you offer a revenue-share for ads that display within your commenting platform?”

The answer is simple, we don’t. We believe your high-value real estate and customer experience should be driven by you and within your control.

Viafoura real-time commenting now provides the same ad positions in and around our commenting widget, but empowers media organizations to use their own ad units and inventory, without taking a cut from your revenue.

And if a no-ad experience is a part of your value proposition for subscribers, the no-ad experience is upheld across your site, not just above the fold.

The Case for Ads in the Comment Section

Having the capability to place your own ads in the commenting section opens up more inventory to your sales team, removes the middleman, and gives you better control over what ads get displayed in your content. It empowers you to monetize your audience directly rather than being an intermediary between you and an ad network outside of your control.

And with real-time audience insights, you can predict high-potential content in advance to manage advertising decisions.

Engaged Audiences Yield Higher Profits

You’ll also be reaching highly-engaged audiences with your ads if you’ve taken advantage of Viafoura engagement tools like real-time commenting and notifications. Not to mention that a subscriber generates more profits than a non-subscriber exposed to ads – so it’s necessary to consider engagement tools in tandem with your ads to increase the chance that users become subscribers.

The Case is Clear: You Win When Your Ads Win

Generating ad impressions through your own ad units not only empowers you to maximize yield, but also to have control over what ads appear, and how best to monetize the relationship with your audience.

So what are you waiting for? If you’re looking to drive direct and indirect revenue around your brand, content, and community, let’s connect.

The Value of a Registered User

We compared the behaviours of several million users in two groups: registered users vs. non-registered users to help quantify the impact a registered user has on KPIs like pageviews, return visits, and time spent.

Registered users view 7x more pages per week and generate 5x more return visits per week compared to non-registered users.

Here are the results:

Per User Per Week Sitewide Pageviews Return Visits Attention Time per Visit
Registered Users* 14.38 10.96 3.98
Non-Registered Users** 2.90 2.25 2.55

*Sample 45,000 unique registered users
**Sample 17.9M unique non-registered users

We also found that registered users spend 56% more time on site per week in comparison to non-registered users.

What’s more, over 80% of all user registration occurs on pages that feature on-site engagement tools and user-generated content.

Leveraging Engagement to Grow your Community

By increasing the number of on-site engagement opportunities, you increase the chances of user registration, while also increasing the value of registration to the user.  So, when your audience wants to join the community, interact with other users, share your content, or opt-in for alerts, take the opportunity to prompt a user to register and benefit from the audience insights registration provides.

Simplify Registration and Build Value

Remove any barriers by making sure the registration experience is not only frictionless but that there is a value exchange.

Provide the options for your users to login effortlessly with their social ID or email depending on their preference. You can also prompt users throughout their journey to complete their profile and provide additional information as their activity builds.

Ensure a registered user can access all features within your community, whether it’s commenting, liking, sharing, following, or accessing paywall content. For best results, it’s important to empower your users to participate with a single ID.

And of course, having access to your audience data is key to making informed decisions that will empower you to engage, discover, and grow your audience.

Looking to build and monetize a direct relationship with your audience?

Contact us to connect with an Viafoura Audience Development Strategist.
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Engaging News Project: What Audiences Want from Comments

In a recent survey by the Engaging News Project, over 12,000 commenters from 20 different news sites opened up about their commenting behaviour and preferences. To make the comment section work for you, we’re summarizing their key findings and showing how Viafoura stacks up.

In this report, the Engaging News Project found most commenters who read and weigh-in on news stories online want journalists and “experts” to get involved in the comments. Their preferences were fairly consistent across news sites.

On average, 81% of commenters said they’d want journalists to clarify factual questions.


In addition, an average of 73% of respondents said they’d want “experts” on topics covered in a news article to respond to comments.

Finally, 58% said they’d want journalists to actively contribute to comment sections and 42% said they’d want journalists to highlight quality comments.

Other noteworthy findings from the Engaging News Project:

  • Although an available option on most news sites, only 62% of commenters think it’s possible to report offensive comments.
  • How often an individual engages in the comments relates to how much civility they perceive in the comment section. In other words, if the comment section is seen to be civil, individuals are more inclined to engage in it.
  • Perceptions of civility in the new comment sections vary per site. Between 14%-78% of respondents per site rate the comments as “very or somewhat civil.”
  • Fewer than half of respondents on any news site feel connected to other commenters (This ranges from 13-42%). The more comments they posted, the more connected they felt.
  • Most commenters across all sites find comment sections easy to navigate. Yet, just under half said that it is easy to sort the comments.

Clearly, there’s a desire from commenters to engage with journalists and “experts” in the comment sections and for news sites to provide a sense of community.

While engaging in the comments can often be a daunting task for journalists and there isn’t always enough time in the day to contribute to the conversation, there are tools and tactics you can leverage to facilitate reader and journalist interactions, create a loyal online community, and encourage visitors to return more frequently and spend more time on your site:

Increase Opportunities for On-site Interactions

Viafoura provides all the tools and opportunities to create connections throughout the user journey with personalized user profiles, follow features, social sharing, real-time commenting, and notifications feeds.

Build Relationships with Commenters

Our commenting module makes it possible for users to engage in real-time with other users and journalists. Users can also sort comments by editor’s picks, by most recent or most active, or flag a comment with just one click.  And editors and journalists can set flagging thresholds by article and and promote chosen comments at the article level and site-wide with ease. You can also reward your quality contributors with trusted user badges to further incentivize quality comments.

Drive Engagement and Return Visits

Increase the value of on-site engagement with real-time commenting and notifications. With our browser-based push notifications and on-site notification feed readers are notified when they receive a real-time reply in the comment section. And with “Follow” features, users can follow other users and a journalist’s user profile to keep up with their latest articles and on-site activity.

Increase Civility in the Comment Sections

Eliminate harassment, abuse, hate speech, and spam in real-time with algorithms built on natural language processing and machine learning to uphold your community guidelines on your site and social channels. Manage multiple news sites with ease and uphold moderation efforts in real-time while maintaining thresholds of civility within each community.

We further support civility with enhanced community and user management features including email verification, display name and avatar moderation, user-to-user muting, and timed user banning, which results in significant increases in participation in the comments section and time-spent.

It’s OK to Disagree

The dislike button provides a way for disagreement without the alert of a flag and significantly reduces actions required from the newsroom when added to the comment module. We’re seeing great results with our customers reporting a 50% reduction in flagging in as little as two weeks since their implementation.

We also empower your community to create a personalized experience with the ability to mute other users, removing the muted user from their online experience site-wide. Nothing lasts forever, so if a user changes their mind they can easily unmute users within their notification tray.

Own and Access your First-Party Data

Can you quantify the impact of engagement on user registration, attention time, and other important KPIs? With access to your first-party data and rich audience insights, you can discover new opportunities to increase audience engagement and drive on-site interactions with your content and brand at the center of it all.

With the people, process, and technology in place, you’re well on your way to building a direct relationship with your audience and growing your on-site community.

Connect with an Audience Development Strategist today to learn why 600+ media brands trust Viafoura as their partner in audience development.


For more on creating a respectful exchange of ideas in the comments, watch our on demand webinar: More Than a Comment: How CBC Drives Real Conversations Below the Fold.

Browser-Based Push Notifications: A New Channel

Many media organizations have used app-based push notifications, but few have discovered the potential of browser-based push notifications.

Real-time push notifications are not competing with email but enable you to enter into the space of personal forms of communication, effectively competing with SMS and other personal alerts.

Entrepreneur Ariel Seidman captures this well: Now that you can reach users through the browser on desktop and mobile, media organizations “can tap almost two billion people on the shoulder.”

Tweetable Takeaway: The power of #pushnotifications: The new channel to drive on-site engagement and conversion

And the timeliness and attention required for a push notification is completely different than an email newsletter or digest that readers may not read for a couple of days.

“It’s very powerful,” confirms Joe Speiser, Co-Founder and CEO of LittleThings. “It could become bigger than email. There’s no spam traps; it goes exactly to the people who signed up for it. You could move hundreds of thousands of people a day to a piece of content.”


Browser-based push notifications drive more return visits.

They prompt people to engage more with a news organization by returning to an app or website. And the data confirms people who receive push notifications return more than those who do not receive notifications.

In a recent study, The Engaging News Project found more than 56% of respondents who receive push notifications said they went to the news organization’s website.

Tweetable Takeaway: #DYK #pushnotifications result in a 10% opt-in rate, 33% click-through rate, and more time-spent on site

The Washington Post launched Chrome notifications in September, reporting 200,000 signups, which amounts to a 10% opt-in rate and a 30% click-through rate.

Media organizations can communicate 1:1 with their readers through this new channel and shape the kinds of discussions they want to have around their content. “The more time we put into these direct channels, the more people are opting in,” confirms Anthony Sessa, VP of Product & Engineering, Mic. “It’s our feed. We get to control that feed and it’s not a black box like the Facebook algorithm. We can drive the conversation the way we want at the time we want.”

Providing readers with the effortless option to receive personalized alerts ensures they will receive breaking news or targeted content even when they are not on site. With the ability to reach your audience directly, you can take an active approach to driving traffic, and increasing click-throughs, and time-spent on site.

Ready to join media organizations who are driving on-site engagement with tools such as push notifications? Connect with an Audience Development Strategist today to learn how Viafoura can help you engage, discover, and grow your audience.


Check out our webinar on demand: Creating Deeper Connections: Best Practices for Developing your On-site Community for more on the power of push notifications.

The Impact of Audience Engagement

We are often asked how on-site engagement drives KPIs like pageviews, time-spent, click-through rates, and user registration.

So we took a look at the behaviours of millions of users across our network of over 600 media brands to find out.

The Impact of Engagement on Pageviews, Time-Spent & User Registration

In order to measure this impact, we compared the behaviours of several million users in two groups: those who visited pages with our engagement tools, and those who did not. The results were striking: those who visited pages with engagement tools produced a 248% lift in weekly pageviews per user and a 364% lift in time-spent on site per week.

Here are the results:

Total Weekly Pageviews per User Total Weekly Attention Time per User
Did not view Comments 2.07 4.07 minutes
Viewed Comments 7.20 18.80 minutes

We also found that over 80% of all user registration occurred on pages which featured on-site engagement tools and user-generated content such as comments.

In a recent article from Ernst-Jan Pfauth, Co-founder & Publisher, De Correspondent, Pfauth confirms media organizations need to give reader comments a chance (and for real, this time) not only because it is their duty to drive audience engagement around their content but it also makes sound business sense.

The Impact of Moderation on Engagement KPIs

Our Audience Development Platform  features a suite of moderation tools aimed at fostering an increase in audience engagement and user-generated content. In our recent case study with a world-leading national broadcaster, we reported how Viafoura’s enhanced community and user management features resulted in a 23% decrease in flagging, a 62% increase in likes per user, and most impressively a 34% increase in replies to comments, and a 45% increase in new daily user registrations.

cbc-stats-2016*Last updated November 2016

Journalists are also more likely to engage in the comments when it’s more than a garbage removal exercise, and instead, they can connect directly with audience members around the content they produce. A recent study with the Engaging News Project and NICD (National Institute for Civil Discourse) found that when journalists engage in the comments, media organizations can drive a further 15% reduction in incivility, which drives an increase in audience engagement, time-spent, and user registration.

See the value in comments but can’t bear the cost or effort it takes to manage and moderate your community?
Contact an Audience Development Specialist to learn how Viafoura empowers media companies to engage, discover and grow their audience.

Learn More:

CBC drwebsite-comment-webinarives real conversations below the fold and manages a growing online community with enhanced community and user management features.
Read More

Discover how Viafoura Smart automated algorithmic Moderation (SaaM) automates real-time moderation, on site and across social channels, so you can go all in on engagement.
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Webinar: How CBC Creates Real Conversations Below the Fold

At a time where others are shutting down their comment sections and struggling to maintain civility in their online communities, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) has shown it’s still possible to promote a respectful exchange of ideas.

Hear from CBC’s Senior Manager, Public Affairs and Product Owner, Web Presentation as they discuss the challenges media organizations face today in driving audience engagement below the fold and CBC’s successes in managing a growing and evolving community.

In this webinar, you’ll learn how to:

  • Elevate the quality of online debate to start discussions that are as civil as they are vigorous
  • Uncover whether anonymity and pseudonymity comprise engagement
  • Leverage the comment section to contribute to your goals as a content publisher
  • Avoid the migration of online debate to social media to keep discussions on your site
  • Sustain meaningful relationships with your audience


Don’t miss out on this webinar: Watch it now!

Taking Your Audience Back: The Power of On-site Engagement

Marketers and Media Organizations: We are One

In the production of content, companies are thinking more like media organizations, and media organizations are thinking more like marketers as we all work to secure the interest and attention of our audience.

Whether the goal is to inform, educate or entertain, our audience is the most important piece of our content. And as the industry continues in the shift to focus on delivering targeted and relevant content to an attentive and active online audience, engagement is what forges the bridge between readers, content, and a brand.

As Noel Penzer, CEO, Time Out, the print and digital publisher who has always built user experiences as a “two-way network,” proclaimed at the recent Monetizing Media Conference, the time is now for media organizations to focus on their brand and the relationship with their audience.

Defining Engagement

Audience engagement is about fostering a two-way network built on interactions, both reader-to-reader and reader-to-writer with your content and brand at the center of it all. Engagement does not represent one-off actions but can be defined as a series of interactions, with increasing effort from passive to active (i.e. liking to following to commenting), moving up the stages of the Engagement Ladder.


Social Media’s Role

With so much controversy surrounding changing algorithms and the commoditization of content, media organizations are getting smarter about striking direct connections with readers on their own site. While social media can be a powerful source for content discovery, it’s been hard for media organizations to get readers to stick around.

From analyzing user behaviour across our network, we were able to confirm exactly that, yes social media is a clear driver of discovery and traffic but results in the highest bounce rates.

While our data shows that on average 85% of social media traffic comes from Facebook, what is important to note is that while social media is a good source of inbound traffic, these unique visitors spend 89% less time on site than organic sources.

85% of social media traffic comes from Facebook, although they spend 89% less time on site

To combat high bounce rates, media organizations need to foster a direct relationship with their audience through measurable opportunities for on-site interaction and conversion.

Social Media for Engagement: The Perils

By leveraging social media for content discovery (versus the platform for audience engagement, leaving your audience and data behind) efforts can be focused on building a community to keep users on-site with your content, contributors, and brand at the center of it all.

The benefits to keeping readers on-site and engaged empowers media organizations to not only have a direct relationship with their audience but of great importance to financial survival, gain control of their audience data and monetization.

Taking Your Audience Back

If you’re ready to commit to fostering a direct relationship with your audience and to make your website their online destination for news and events, we’ve outlined a few questions to consider:

  1. What social channels are helping you acquire new readers?
  2. When readers visit your site what prompts them to stay?
  3. What measurable opportunities exist for users to interact with your content, creators, and other community members?
  4. How are you monitoring and optimizing your site in order to maximize on-site interactions?
  5. Are you able to measure your on-site and social engagement across your user journey and the resulting impact on KPI’s?

Maximizing Return on Engagement


Create Opportunities for On-site Interactions and Conversion

It’s important to create opportunities for on-site engagement and to be able quantify the value at each stage of the user journey. And with increased on-site interactions comes more opportunities for conversion, registration, subscription, and ad impressions on yield.

Starting with a frictionless login through social sign-on or email/user verification, can readers then go on to interact with other users and content? Can your readers share content across social throughout your site, rate articles, follow other readers and content contributors, which can then power content recommendations, relevant alerts and other triggers for re-engagement both with your content and community members? Creating and quantifying such user behaviour and on-site interactions are the first steps to maximizing return on engagement.


Convert Anonymous to Highly Engaged Users

Building a highly engaged community of active users and loyal readers is key to building a strong two-way network. Engagement behaviour is progressive and so as opportunities for on-site interactions increase, participation increases and you can accelerate participation up the ladder from anonymous, to known, lurker, passively engaged, and ultimately active engaged/subscribed.

“The concept of a ‘ladder’ demonstrates a user’s decision-making process, which is affected by his or her past experience with the website, and which expresses the user’s wishes and free will.”
MIT Sloan Report, Building the Business Case for Engagement


Increase Scrolling in the Deep

There is a much needed shift taking place where media organizations and advertisers are looking to the impact of engagement as a key distinguisher in their value proposition to advertisers, as we see in the case of Native Advertising. In the case of typical ad units, ultimately, scroll depth increases in addition to below the fold ad units from all the on-site interactions that exists below the fold.

In an analysis of the impact of engagement below the fold, in this case commenting, we uncovered that 68% of all unique visitors spend more than 15% of their time reading comments. We can report that active engagement results in a 73% increase in pageviews per visit, and a 70% increase in visits per month. And with more time spent below the fold and across pages, and sections, the result is more ad impressions.

Active engagement results in a 73% increase in pageviews per visit, and a 70% increase in visits

Power the Results You’re Looking For

Because media companies are fiercely competing for audiences’ and advertisers’ limited attention, it is imperative to build a direct relationship with your audience to maximize engagement opportunities around your content to effectively power digital revenue.

Here’s how to calculate ROE:


People are those required to manage your community, while the platform (which will reduce your management costs) will drive engagement and attention time down the page and across the site to drive incremental revenue through additional ad impressions and/or subscriptions.

If you’re looking to build a highly engaged online community and reap the benefits from doing so, it’s time to take back your audience and leverage the power of on-site engagement. Watch this webinar on demand to learn best practices for developing your on-site community.