Reach deploys AI technology as it relaunches commenting platform

Reach, the country’s largest regional news publisher in the UK, is partnering with media community building company Viafoura to relaunch the commenting platform across its portfolio of national and local digital brands.

The AI-based technology behind the community function will allow Reach journalists to centre their efforts on curating quality conversations with readers and provide a better experience for site visitors.

The upgraded commenting platform is the first in a series of product enhancements which will be implemented in the coming months as Reach seeks to increase the number of registered customers signing up to its brands.

Central to the success of the platform will be Reach journalists and experts, who will play a key role in building conversation and engagement with readers.

Reach first began working with Viafoura earlier this year when it launched webchats with football writers. Thousands of fans now take part every week.

Reach’s digital titles continue to experience growth. In June Reach regionals reached 36.5 million people and Reach Sports moved into first place for the ranked sports category

David Higgerson, Chief Audience Officer said: “Reach is the largest commercial news publisher in the UK and our sites are a natural home for the big debates about subjects that matter. The aim is to encourage great debate and conversation for our diverse range of readers.”

Maureen McDonagh, Chief Customer Officer said, “The heart of our customer value strategy is building greater connections with our readers so we can be more relevant to them. More than 2.5 million people are now registered customers across Reach brands and this will help us deliver sustainable growth”.

Jesse Moeinifar, Viafoura CEO said, “We’re very excited for Viafoura to have been selected by Reach to help power their community building and audience engagement initiatives.

“Our partnership with Reach is focused on creating new opportunities for Reach’s editorial team and readers to participate in real-time conversations that spark thoughtful discussion and debate and build new online connections. We look forward to helping Reach strengthen its relationship with its audience by building loyal communities of engaged readers.”

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