In the ever-evolving landscape of digital media, one thing remains constant: the need for engaging and interactive user experiences. The Toronto Star, one of Canada’s leading publishers, reaching over 6 million readers weekly, doubled-down on audience engagement by expanding services with the integration of Viafoura’s newly rebuilt Mobile SDK.
We sat down with Milind Sabarad, Product Manager at The Toronto Star, to gain insights into the implementation process, the rationale behind the decision, and the impact it has had on the Toronto Star’s in-app experience.
But why now? Commenting functionality, a feature that initially rolled out on Toronto Star’s website, fostered engaging, interactive experiences around their content, leading to steady growth in new registrations and increased time spent on their platforms. Extending this experience to their app audience, consisting of some of their most dedicated readers, was the natural next step.
Since the implementation of Viafoura’s Mobile SDK, Toronto Star has witnessed significant results.
“Being the first to market with Viafoura's new SDK was a thrilling achievement for our team," said Milind. "In just a month, we've observed substantial growth in comments generated and session length. Moreover, we've successfully extended the experience of our AMA live events onto the app, ensuring our entire audience can participate and interact with our newsroom seamlessly.”
Viafoura’s Mobile SDK offers a robust suite of engagement tools designed to elevate user experiences within mobile apps. Its key features include:
- Real-Time Comments: Enable users to engage in interactive conversations, synchronizing seamlessly across web and apps.
- Quick and Easy Implementation: The SDK ensures rapid integration within iOS and Android apps, utilizing existing authentication systems for a seamless user experience.
- In-App Notifications: Customizable news feed notifications enhance in-app personalization, fostering re-engagement with the community.
- Full Customization: Maintain a consistent brand experience by customizing colors, fonts, and font sizes within the engagement suite tools.
- On-Device Moderation: Enable staff to moderate conversations directly within the app using their existing staff-level accounts.
- Fully Integrated Ad Monetization: Effortlessly integrate high-engagement ad positions within engagement tools, allowing immediate monetization without ad blockers.
Mobile apps hold unparalleled power in user conversion rates, with a 2-4x higher conversion rate than mobile web. Users spend a staggering 88% of their time on mobile apps, making it imperative for publications to invest in this platform.
Dan Seaman, Vice President of Product at Viafoura, comments on the new rollout: “With the growing importance of user registrations and reader revenue in publishing, the role of on-site community engagement is more critical than ever. And with apps where the most loyal and engaged users are, publishers need to provide them with the best possible user experience. That’s why we have rebuilt our mobile SDK from the ground up to make it fast and easy for our customers to implement Viafoura’s powerful set of audience engagement tools within their iOS and Android apps.”.
Toronto Star’s Mobile SDK, powered by Viafoura, is the first in an exciting chapter in community engagement and leading strategic avenues with community at the center. As we move forward, Viafoura remains committed to revolutionizing the digital media landscape, one immersive experience at a time.