Revitalizing the Welt Community
2024 Finalist

Revitalizing the Welt Community


Berlin, Germany

Category Product Development

Overview of this campaign

The WELT Community has grown continuously, as well as the subscriber engagement. The community is our most effective customer retention tool, as active community users have a subscription retention rate three times higher than inactive subscribers.

However, we were confronted with two challenges from the beginning of 2023:

The strong growth in active users and comments had led to the moderation team being overloaded. Many comments could hardly be processed on time. This resulted in frustration and even subscription cancellations on the customer side.

Our aim was to improve the user satisfaction through greater transparency and improved moderation quality.

We implemented the following points - in collaboration with Research, UX, Product & Development, the Community editorial team and the moderation team - between Q2 and Q4 2023:

  • AI-based comment moderation: We have improved the AI model for moderation together with our service provider Ferret.
  • Comment status: The comment status (approved/in progress/rejected) is displayed in the user profile. We have also improved the visibility of replies and likes received.
  • Access via app: We have made it easier for our most loyal users, namely app users, to access their own comments in the app.
  • Contact with the editorial team: We regularly publish updates to explain how we work

A second challenge was the discussion atmosphere. Many users rated it as less attractive. Our aim was to create an open discourse allowing different points of views.

Our measures:

  • Increased activity of our journalists, guest authors and editors-in-chief in the community: by liking comments, providing counterarguments and actively participating in the discussion, they make a significant contribution to a constructive discussion climate.
  • Enhanced visibility of our journalists: We display the latest and most popular author comments on our WELT landing page ("community window").
  • In our new regular format “video live chat” our renowned journalists answer readers' questions. Most recently, our investigative colleagues reported on their current reports, our Asia correspondent on the election in Taiwan.

Results for this campaign

Improvement of user satisfaction

  1. Retention: In our monthly Customer Insight Report “community” as reason for cancellation fell from 22.2% in June 2023 to 9.8% in December 2023.
  2. Transparency: To date, we’ve received over 1,000 user comments on our article "On our own behalf"; the WELT Community editorial team has also responded more than 600 times.
  3. Approval time: Due to decisive improvements in automatic and AI-based comment approval, we’ve increased the rate of directly approved comments from 40% (August 2023) to 75% (December 2023). This allowed the moderation team to deal more effectively with ambiguous comments (i.e. irony, sarcasm)
  4. Comment approval speed: In the Customer Insights Report, 12% of  all WELTplus users reported problems due to the approval time in July 2023. This figure fell to 1% by December 2023.


Create a constructive discourse

  1. Community as subscription USP: At the end of 2022, 32% of respondents cited the community as a USP. We were able to increase this figure to 38% by the end of 2023.
  2. Dialogue between editorial team and subscribers: Author activity is valued by our users and has a positive impact on the discussion culture. In 2023, a total of around 30,000 comments were submitted by WELT authors, an increase of 50% compared to 2022.
  3. Visibility of Author involvement: The feature "comment window" has been a success. In an A-B-test we recognised a moderate increase in engagement and a positive influence on community usage: In the test, we determined that "page views per visit" increased by 3%, the number of comments read by 6% and number of comments written by 29%.
  4. Live interaction: Each Video Live Chat has received 13.500 page views on average. The most successful chat recorded more than 30,000 page views. There, Editor-in-chief Ulf Poschardt and the CEO of the opinion poll institute Forsa analysed the results of two German state elections. According to a customer survey the direct dialogue at eye-to-eye level is particularly well received.


To contact a company representative about this campaign, click here for the INMA Member Directory

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