Viafoura Successfully Attains SOC 2 Type 2 Certification Following Completion of SOC Compliance Process

We’re thrilled to share an important milestone in our commitment to data security: the successful completion of our second annual SOC 2 Type 2 audit. This achievement not only reaffirms our dedication to safeguarding your data but also underscores our ongoing efforts to maintain the highest standards of security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

While SOC 2 Type 1 provides a snapshot of our security measures at a specific moment, SOC 2 Type 2 goes further, assessing the effectiveness of these controls through our day-to-day operations. 

“Our completion of the annual SOC 2 Type 2 audit underscores our unwavering commitment to safeguarding our users’ data,” asserts Mark Zohar, President and CEO of Viafoura. “It’s about more than compliance; it’s about instilling confidence in our users that their information is protected with the utmost diligence.”

Thank you for entrusting Viafoura with your digital engagement needs.


The Viafoura Customer Experience Team.

icimédias digital properties drive new levels of engagement with Viafoura

icimédias is a group of  22 newspapers serving seven major regions of Quebec and Ontario, Canada: Chaudière-Appalaches, Estrie, Haut-Richelieu, Mauricie, Thetford, Victoriaville and Cornwall. They are the voice of thousands of citizens in their various regions.

As with many publishers, icimédias is experiencing challenges with enticing their digital readers to elevate their relationship from casual reader to actively engaged registered user. Says Marc-Noel Ouellette, General Director at icimédias, “our goal is to enhance the reader relationships while also collecting first-party data so that we can provide each reader with a unique and personalized experience”.

By integrating Viafoura’s Conversations, Live Blogs, Community Chat, Engagement Starter, Trending Articles, and Moderation solutions icimédias will have the means to drive new levels of engagement. Says Ouelette, “this will totally change our digital experience. We’re excited to enhance our relationships with our readers while ultimately driving unprecedented levels of conversions”.

Viafoura is equally excited to work with icimédias. Dalia Vainer, Director of Customer Success at Viafoura,  is quoted saying “we are looking forward to launching the Viafoura suite of solutions with icimédias! While they are already close to their readers, we’ll be taking engagement to a whole new level with personalization and first-party data”.

Daily Herald brings vibrant, interactive communities to its digital property with Viafoura

Many publishers experience challenges with enticing their digital readers to elevate their relationship from casual reader to actively engaged subscriber. The Daily Herald is a publisher zealously conquering this challenge.

The Daily Herald, suburban Chicago’s largest daily newspaper, provides up-to-date breaking local and national news. While they did offer commenting to their readers via Facebook, those comments appeared on and not – depriving the Daily Herald of building a dialogue between their staff and their readers. By moving commenting to their property, the Daily Herald now offers a healthy and vibrant environment that facilitates community interaction.

Mark Stallings, Manager of Digital Operations at the Daily Herald, discloses “we conducted several exhaustive rounds of analysis during our search to find a replacement for our current commenting platform. We had a list of must-haves for any new commenting platform, and Viafoura was among a small group of vendors that met or exceeded our criteria. First and foremost, we wanted a vendor that placed commenting and social engagement at the core of their business. They needed to be well established, with a proven track record of delivering best-in-class solutions with the following features: reader personalization, strong moderation, simple user management, comprehensible reporting and analysis, and easy integration. After narrowing the list, we talked to other publishing company staff and industry groups to help us make the final decision.’

With Viafoura’s Conversations, Live Blogs, Community Chat, Auto-Moderation, and Full-Service Moderation, the Daily Herald will be increasing subscriber revenue,  visitor’s time on site, the number of articles they read, and the number of times they return to engage with the content in a set interval.

Ensuring that the Daily Herald is successful and has an exceptional customer experience is Dalia Vainer, Viafoura’s Director of Customer Success. Dalia has the following comment regarding Viafoura’s newest partnership: “we’re excited that the Daily Herald has chosen Viafoura as its partner in community engagement! We’re looking forward to working together to create and grow a safe, moderated space that will provide peace of mind to internal teams and readers”.

From anonymous to first-party: How to turn visitors into registered users and subscribers

It’s an age-old problem for publishers. How do you get casual readers to become loyal subscribers? Let’s first consider how publications strayed from reader engagement to understand the answer to this question. Fastener interviewed Mark Zohar at Viafoura to learn more about the history of audience engagement in digital publishing.

The Outsourcing Stop-gap

Before the internet, the number of publications remained constrained by labor and paper costs, forcing subscriptions on a local level and limiting competition. Yahoo opened the web in 1995, and in 2004, Web 2.0, followed by smartphones in 2007, delivered instant gratification, community and interactivity online. Shortly thereafter, web publications began to outsource their customer service, feedback and commenting abilities, allowing third parties to determine their fate, popularity and ultimately their content through clicks, likes, reviews, tweets and TikToks.

Publishers began validating vanity interactions rather than synergy with their readers. At the time, this was logical. Bots, spam and guerilla postings by malcontents required constant monitoring. Customer Management Systems (CMS) were expensive and required teams of marketing and tech experts to administer. Social media was free (sort of — publishers paid by relinquishing control, privacy and data) and increasingly the preferred method of communication between the business world and its customers. The time and cost of managing engagement, “who needs it!” proffered conventional wisdom.

Opportunity Cost

The cost of relying on third parties — the loss of business and customer intelligence, control and interaction — became apparent as time passed. Third parties, including social media, understood more about an organization’s customers than they did. After all, these outside entities communicated with their customers, collected data, directed them, entertained, and serviced them. These entities engaged and profited from the publisher’s work.

Consider the following facts:

  • Engaged visitors stay longer, go deeper and generate 4x more advertising opportunities.
  • They are 2x more likely to click on an ad.
  • Viafoura’s engaged users are 51x more likely to register.
  • And registered visitors are 45x more likely to subscribe than casual visitors to your digital properties.

Publishers that engage their readers monetize their properties. Engaging digitally means communication, and communication begins with taking power back to parlay and maintaining control of the wealth of first-party data each exchange produces.

Because publishers outsourced engagement, the vast majority of their visitors remained anonymous, with only a minute percentage registering or subscribing. Publishers continued living in the eighties but are trying to do business in the twenty-twenties, relying on third-party research to understand their readers.

How anonymous users become subscribers

Leading readers through the subscriber journey is relatively painless with the right tools. The Viafoura Digital Experience Platform (DXP) provides the interactivity and immediacy of social media while maintaining control on the publisher’s property of the data, opportunities and experience.

Viafoura’s DXP anonymous-to-subscriber strategy involves four levels: Engagement Suite, Personalization, Moderation, and Data.

Engagement suite

Creating loyal subscribers from anonymous readers begins with on-site engagement on publishers’ owned and operated digital properties. Readers who feel listened to return more often and dive deeper into your publication. Viafoura deploys various solutions to make readers feel at home, including social sharing, chat, Q&As and conversations. And then there is the ultimate VIP ticket, the live blogging platform coupled with Viafoura’s Conversations. Together or solo, each creates an immersive experience between a publication and its reader community, resulting in an average 600 percent lift in subscriptions.


Nobody wants to be an unknown number when engaging with a publication. Therefore, personalization is the next step in making anonymous readers cherished subscribers. Personalization includes capturing and using more than a person’s name. It means having options that craft an experience unique to each reader, including alerts, notifications, follow options, recommendations, and curated feeds. Readers feel like family when content is personalized to their needs, likes and wants. It is a mesmerizing experience that keeps them coming back. Viafoura’s DPX puts personalization under the publisher’s control.


Without comment moderation, the trolls take over, and suddenly a pleasant interaction becomes a toxic mix of vitriol, hurting the publication and the user experience. On average, a publisher will lose 80 percent of its anonymous readers due to a hostile environment. However, well-moderated engagement increases registrations and subscriptions by an average of 400 percent within six months. Viafoura’s DXP uses multiple strategies to streamline moderation and reduce the number of people needed to keep it going by customizing parameters to each publication’s policies across all properties and social media. Artificial intelligence combined with human expertise and easy-to-read dashboards take on the trolls and temper the tantrums to ensure engagement on its client’s publications remains civil, pleasurable and informative.


Data is worth more than gold in the digital world. It determines content, direction, strategy, partners, advertising, marketing, corporate expenditures, budgets, pricing, new products and investments—data is behind every informed decision. Yet many publishers give away their primary data by outsourcing engagement. Controlling all aspects of the publishing ecosystem delivers unprecedented intelligence that allows a publication to improve its content, better service its readers and strategically plan for the future. Viafoura’s DXP delivers far more than the 83 average metrics. Its digital engagement platform provides over 200 data points, vital information that elevates customer experience, value, and loyalty, which translates to subscribers.


Viafoura’s unique approach boosts on-site engagement, increasing user registrations and subscriptions. Additionally, it produces internet gold, the ultra-valuable first-party data that creates unique personas and insights exclusive to the publication. Detailed information permits publishers to fine-tune their content, increasing its value to their readers while simultaneously lifting advertising revenues and engagement. Happy readers become loyal readers. Loyal readers become subscribers—leading us back to the original question. How do digital publishers turn visitors into registered users and subscribers while improving their publications? They invest in engagement tools, and Viafoura’s DXP is the leader.

Digiday Media and Viafoura – a next level partnership with fresh content formats, engagement opportunities, and analytics upgrades

Digiday Media is a publisher known for its frank perspectives across its media brands which include Digiday, Glossy, Modern Retail and WorkLife. Their unapologetic dedication to delivering work that prioritizes ‘honesty over spin’ and ‘quality over quantity’ has won them awards, accolades, and an audience of loyal subscribers who come to them for the truth.

As a global authority on tech and its impact on media, Digiday Media is keenly aware of the importance of providing an engaging and rewarding digital experience for loyal users. In order to enhance the experience for Glossy+ members, they’ve adopted a number of Viafoura’s solutions on, a space where users are craving deeper engagement experiences.

“We’re so pleased to be helping Digiday Media offer new and exclusive content formats and engagement experiences to Glossy+ members.” says Mark Zohar, President & COO at Viafoura, “As a longtime partner, we’ve seen firsthand how the smart folks at Digiday Media continue to improve the experience for its audiences, and we’re proud that Viafoura is now an active contributor to that strategy.”

The team at Glossy is using Viafoura’s digital experience platform to enhance the Glossy+ member experience by giving them exclusive access to new content formats and engagement opportunities. Using Viafoura’s Conversations, paying members will soon be able to take part in real-time discussions during Ask Me Anything events. These events, along with Conversations on traditional content formats, provide new opportunities for engagement, which can be carefully managed with the support of Viafoura’s Automated Moderation. On the back-end, Digiday Media will leverage the rich first-party data and insights uncovered through Viafoura’s Audience Insights to enhance its audience-first content development strategies.

“We chose Viafoura because it’s the best solution for our current needs and there are plenty of additional features for us to grow into as we evolve the user experience,” says Aaron Gottlieb, EVP, Product & Platform Strategy at Digiday Media. He continues, “Viafoura’s digital experience platform adds another layer of value and utility for paying members and will help us build and own the direct relationship with them on our platforms.”

After rolling out the new Glossy+ member experience, Digiday Media will be implementing Viafoura on additional properties, including Digiday and Modern Retail.

NPG partners with Viafoura, bringing new life to its digital properties and audience communities

News-Press & Gazette Company (NPG), a Midwestern American family owned and operated business, is a powerhouse in the broadcast television and newspaper industries. Having thrived in the ever evolving news and publishing landscapes since 1951, NPG is keenly aware that change is good for business – but not without its challenges. With Viafoura’s tools and expertise, NPG aims to turn those challenges into an increase in the amount of time visitors spend on their sites and an improvement in their overall engagement by giving registered users the ability to comment with ease and the option to follow topics and authors of interest.

In a digital world where audiences are largely anonymous, it’s tough to maintain spaces for constructive, informative, and open conversations without coming up against toxicity and bad actors. “As a media company, NPG has a vested interest in open and robust discourse,” says NPG’s Director of News and Marketing, Michael Fabac, noting that “At the same time, we recognize that some individuals take advantage of digital anonymity to spread misinformation and hate. Viafoura is helping us find a tenable middle ground by providing a platform that encourages engagement and civility.”

For NPG, integrating Viafoura’s Conversations, Automated Moderation and Full Service Moderation tools is helping them restructure their on-site commenting and introduce a fast-paced, safe, and engaging community experience on all their sites. After a smooth onboarding, Viafoura’s tools are live on nine of NPG’s sites and driving immediate positive results. Among the wins, NPG is seeing properties that had fallen dormant due to previous moderation strategies come back to life.

Watch as, one of NPG’s properties, introduces its new audience engagement solution powered by Viafoura:

NPG partners with Viafoura, bringing new life to its digital properties and audience communities

In tandem with updated community and moderation solutions, NPG is using Viafoura’s Audience Insights to gain a deeper understanding of audience interests and sentiments that could be used to further optimize audience-first engagement strategies. These insights allow NPG to serve targeted content to ideal existing and prospective registered users by using Viafoura’s Trending Conversations Carousel, even further improving engagement and time spent on their sites and pages.

As they continue to reap the rewards of Viafoura’s turn-key solutions, nothing but positive outlooks remain for continued audience growth, engagement wins, and limitless insights and learnings just waiting to be discovered in new found access to rich first-party data.

SOC 2 Type 2 certification achieved, Viafoura completes the SOC compliance process

Viafoura, the leading digital experience company for global media organizations, is pleased to announce that it has successfully achieved Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type 2 certification.

SOC 2 Type 1 is different from Type 2 in that a Type 1 assesses the design of security processes at a specific point in time, while a Type 2 report (also commonly written as “Type ii”) assesses how effective those controls are over time by observing operations for at least six months. Essentially, It examines a service provider’s internal controls and systems related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of data. Viafoura achieved Type 1 certification in September 2021 and now, with the Type 2 certification, has completed the full SOC compliance certification process.

“The completion of the SOC certification process is a significant milestone for Viafoura. The security, trust and compliance of our customers’ data is of the utmost importance” says Mark Zohar, President and COO of Viafoura. “With our SOC 2 Type 2 certification our customers can remain confident that we have streamlined our processes and designed everything around incident impact minimization.”

“Our mission as a company is to create civil and brand-safe online communities that engage and activate digital audiences. This mission cannot be achieved without a strong investment in and commitment to data security and compliance.”

Fighting for time and attention: A glimpse into The Independent’s successful audience engagement strategy

The Independent has recently experienced quite a lot of success in growing its registered user base and engaging its audience with appealing digital experiences. 

At WAN-IFRA’s Virtual World News Media Congress 2021, The Independent’s head of registered audience, Philippa Jenkins, and Viafoura’s president and COO, Mark Zohar, gave attendees a snapshot of the media company’s audience engagement strategy. Here are some highlights.

Why users spent 15x more time on-site after registering to The Independent

As Jenkins mentioned during the conference, audience engagement sparks greater economic value. The Independent, for example, found that its registered website users spent about 15 times more time on-site than anonymous visitors. This additional time that registered users spend exploring and interacting around the brand offers in-depth information about their preferences, opinions and habits. 

As a result, The Independent has been able to identify where users are engaging the most to target them with more relevant experiences, content and offers. 

But this build-up of engagement and first-party data didn’t happen on its own. To keep registered users from losing interest and encourage them to subscribe, The Independent implemented several Viafoura solutions, including a personalized news feed, browser notifications and a moderated conversations space. 

The personalized feed and notifications showcase where the most active users are on the company’s site and point users to the latest interactions with their comments. Both of these tools established a sense of community for The Independent’s users and produced opportunities for re-engagement. In addition, Viafoura’s digital experience tools offered the media company a way to gather critical first-party data as users interact with one another and consume content. 

Without engagement on your site, you have a passive audience that’s just reading your content — and passive experiences no longer meet the needs of today’s audiences,” says Zohar. “Passive visitors can’t connect with your journalists, they won’t leave their opinions and you can’t get their sentiments or useful engagement data.”

Ultimately, Viafoura’s digital experience solutions allowed The Independent to identify and elevate the most relevant spaces on the site to keep users hooked on its brand.

How 'The Independent' is making the most of its engagement tools

Even with effective personalization and social tools, media organizations must put time and energy into experimenting with ways to draw more attention toward on-site engagement opportunities. After all, there are countless other publishers all battling for your audience’s attention. 

In The Independent’s case, Jenkins outlines how the organization has achieved positive results hosting Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions through Viafoura’s moderated Conversations solution. 

The AMAs give registered users the chance to voice their questions to an expert or journalist around a particular topic, further connecting them to the brand. In fact, there’s a direct correlation between The Independent’s AMAs and the time users spend on-site. These sessions alone earned the publisher one million views on content related to these events.

Zohar also highlights that registered comment readers and writers generate 46 times more page views and spend 168 times more time on-site per month compared to anonymous visitors.

Jenkins explains that the commenting experience can become much richer during an AMA event because users get direct attention from the community host in return for their engagement. 

“For journalists, AMAs are a great way to establish a following that will engage directly with them,” Zohar says. 

In today’s highly competitive media industry, audience attention, revenue and loyalty all start with engagement. And it’s up to publishers to develop an effective strategy with the right tools and user experiences to consistently earn their audience’s attention.

The Only Guide To Comment Moderation You Will Ever Need

A quick search of the Internet will show you a plethora of guides on using comment moderation features provided by popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. It comes as no surprise; the liberty of free speech is abused quite often on the web, where trolls and toxic individuals can hide behind the relative anonymity of their usernames. And at the scale on which some platforms operate, it’s impossible to have enough mods to catch and handle every single offensive comment or inappropriate post that gets left on their pages.  

Comment moderation tools offer a relatively hassle-free way to keep your brand’s web platform a safe and inclusive space for everyone. Viafoura includes comment moderation functionality within our software suite, and we’re a big fan of using them to supplement your efforts to regulate and moderate the type of conversations and content that gets shared on your platform.

But successfully performing comment moderation takes more than just leaving it to the algorithm; any digital media brand that’s looking to develop the right kind of community around their content needs to understand the principles behind the act. This post aims to cover the essentials of comment moderation and how you can use them as the basis for your own approach to comment moderation on your website.

The importance of comment moderation

Comment moderation requires so much time and attention because failing to have proper measures in place can expose your community to profanity, abuse, spam, and other unsavoury elements. Not only does this harm your overall image as a brand, but it also discourages prospective audience members and first-time visitors from coming back. Every brand’s responsibility is to ensure that their community is healthy and free from this kind of toxicity, and comment moderation is just one of the methods that make it possible.

But note that the aim of comment moderation isn’t to suppress individual opinions or views that are critical or against your brand’s interests. There’s a fine line between moderation and censorship. Doing it for the right reasons is essential to ensuring your digital media brand nurtures a positive relationship with its audience. Focus on creating an environment that facilitates healthy discussion and respectful exchanges.

comment moderation importance

Tips towards impactful comment moderation

We mentioned earlier that if you’re looking to implement comment moderation on your platform, it isn’t enough to just rely on comment moderation tools. You need to form a cohesive strategy and comment moderation policy that aligns with your brand’s values. Here are some steps that you can take to get some ideas on a practical approach to comment moderation.

Plan for uncivil content with your comment moderation policy

Get your team together to predict possible responses to your content that might seem likely based on prevalent ideas and ongoing discussion about your topic. For example, if you cover a story on a political topic, expect supporters of the opposition to push their own beliefs and agenda. If your moderation team knows what to expect, they’re better prepared to handle the possible situations that may arise.

Comment moderation on Facebook as well as Instagram comment moderation are both meant to align with their terms of service, showing audience members that they’re consistent with their values. This can be a good starting place when looking to flesh out your comment moderation policy, since shaping your t comment moderation policy around your community guidelines also makes it easier for their audience to understand why your moderators take action against certain types of post and content.

Ensure your team knows your policy

Everyone on a ship needs to know how to sail, and everyone on your team involved in moderation and platform usage needs to know your comment moderation policy like the back of their hand.

Consider preparing a document with keywords or names that may indicate problematic topics that require extra attention. Take the time to go over the specifics, reasons, and practices of your comment moderation policy with anyone involved in the process, especially your moderators.

This will ensure that their actions and judgement remain consistent with your approach and the policy that you’ve put forward for your audience.

Enforce the comment moderation policy when necessary

Once you have the guidelines for comment moderation in place, you’ll need to prepare to enforce them. It’s not enough to put up the rules and expect that everyone will follow them; you’ll need to actively remove posts or edit them to align with your policies.

Remember that comment moderation should only be performed to steer the discussion towards safer spaces and remove outright harmful or toxic content that doesn’t serve much purpose. But you also shouldn’t be afraid to ban users outright when necessary; it’ll be much more beneficial for your customer acquisition and retention in the long run.

Still, depending on the scale of your platform, this can require a lot of manpower, which can be expensive and is based on the assumption that you can afford to hire the number of moderators needed.

comment moderation enforcement

Communicate and take breaks when necessary

Using communication software like Slack or Google Hangouts is a great way to keep your moderation team in touch and create a space where they can get support and depend on each other during busy times.

Your moderators can get clarification on topics they’re unsure about, and they can also feel more comfortable taking breaks knowing that the rest of the team can handle things in their absence.

These aspects of comment moderation are very important to keeping your team feeling empowered and supported, and it can help them work much more effectively to keep your comments free of any problems.


Comment moderation is an essential part of managing relations with your existing audience. It allows digital media brands to exert control over the type of content and discussion on their platform. But while comment moderation can easily be left to an automated system, it takes a structured, intentional approach to ensure that it functions successfully. Viafoura’s suite of tools is designed to promote community engagement and comes with comment moderation features that can easily be integrated and customized to suit your platform’s needs. Get in touch with us to schedule a demo and see how we can help you build a safe space for your community today!

Exit mobile version