Archive for the ‘Product’ Category

Our goal here at Chartbeat is to arm content creators with the right insights at the right time. But since we know not all newsrooms operate the same way we’ve created a suite of tools that can work for each team in each newsroom.

When it comes to delivering the data you need to inform your editorial strategies, tools like the real-time Dashboard or Heads Up Display take your data and present it in an intuitive design, while others, such as Report Builder and our API endpoints, give you the freedom to put your data to use any way you want.

Report Builder allows you to dig deep into Chartbeat metrics, some of which aren’t available in the dashboard, to uncover historical trends in your audience behavior. Its clean, approachable interface helps editors who don’t have a lot of time, but do have a lot of questions about historical performance that can be answered using data. By returning CSV reports, Report Builder gives you a more raw look at just the numbers and lets you track organizational and individual goals, behaviors, or trends across long periods of time.


One of the most recent Report Builder use cases I helped a client work though was calculating lost video revenue when tracking metrics on video domains. Report Builder’s powerful design allows you to download the data into an easy to manipulate spreadsheet — all you need is the number of video loads, video plays, and video CPM and voila: you’ve just merged editorial and business insights together.


Focusing in on using each Chartbeat tool to its fullest potential is how you’ll stay one step ahead of your competitors — and if you’re having trouble working through creating customized reports that fit your needs, just reach out to your Customer Success Manager.

But Report Builder, like almost all applications, has to get the data it reports on from somewhere. When you enter parameters in the interface and click the ‘generate report’ button, Report Builder takes the parameters you selected and packages them together into a single request for information. That request is sent to an API where it’s returned with the requested chunk of data. An API endpoint is just an outlet where specific requests for information are processed and returned.  

For example, the newest feature in Chartbeat’s real-time dashboard, Offsite Social, uses CrowdTangle’s API to get a list of instances where a given post was shared over social media. When you click into one of your top pages, our dashboard calls CrowdTangle’s API to deliver that information directly into the dashboard. In short, APIs help automate and deliver data to different applications.

While a constructed user interface helps people leverage API endpoints to accomplish specific tasks, many of our clients large and small go straight to the source and use the Chartbeat APIs to enhance their sites through trending content and recommendation modules. In fact, this was such a popular use case that during one of our hackweeks we created a pre-packaged plugin that pulls the top five articles from the user’s current section (ranked by engaged time) and surfaces them in a widget.

This widget, displayed live on your content site, recommends other stories users may be interested in to promote recirculation, or reading onto a second article page, which ultimately influences audience loyalty.


The possibilities with the Chartbeat API are almost endless, and while the above example cites real-time articles, the pre-packaged widget could easily be populated with content that did well in the past. We also find that some of our largest and most tech savvy customers are using our APIs to power homegrown internal dashboards that surface the metrics they care most about, exactly the way they want to see them.

This way they can surface Chartbeat insights alongside other data sources, like financial information, to produce a complete picture of their organization from commercial to editorial. The one caveat is that setting up the APIs requires some developer chops. If you need deep insights, but you don’t usually find yourself wearing noise-cancelling headphones and staring at endless lines of code, Report Builder is the tool for you.

Chartbeat’s real-time and historical toolsets is all about empowering you with data: whether that’s through a UI we created or something you’ve created exclusively for you.

In our technology-fueled world it’s no secret that mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have changed the way people find and consume content.

A few years ago you could probably get away with a single, responsive site that served the same content to desktop and mobile readers. But with competing publishers, social networking apps, distributed platforms, and dragging load times, a single site is no longer enough to hold the attention of your audience.

If you want to optimize reader experience, you have to pay attention to each of these factors.

To start, it helps to understand the nuances of each of your mobile audiences. In your Chartbeat Publishing Dashboard, the first way to get a sense of your mobile audience is with the device type pivot. This filters your Dashboard to show you just people who are on your site right now using a mobile device. But does that mean they’re all experiencing your content in the same way?

If someone is reading an article on your site, there’s two versions that they could be on. The first is the actual version of the article that’s hosted by you, on your site, and the other option is a Facebook Instant Article, a version that keeps the user within the actual Facebook app, but serves an article that’s enhanced to load up to ten times faster.

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But what does that mean for how your readers engage?

We’ve talked already about simulating your audience’s experience to combat mobile drop-off, but you can still use your Chartbeat toolset to get even more information around these more nuanced audience groups. A client that I work with recently asked me if I thought investing in Facebook Instant Articles was worth it, so we got on a call and talked through how I’d solve that problem.

We reasoned that FBIA would be ‘worth it’ if people being served content via Facebook’s app are engaging more than people actually on your site who were simply referred by Facebook due to the improved site experience. A few simple Dashboard pivots are enough to get to the bottom of that question: pivot on FBIA, and compare to the pivot on the Facebook referrer.

Making this comparison once in real-time isn’t exactly data science, but you can quickly see how much further you can take this. Maybe you setup a recurring report in Report Builder to make this comparison on a monthly basis. Over time, you might find some surprising results.


Mobile engagement offers a tremendous opportunity for publishers to better connect with the audiences that matter most to them. Chartbeat’s suite of tools are here to help point you in the right direction when making important decisions around data – you just have to know where to look.

If you’re interested in learning more about mobile distribution and how to take advantage of them, just shoot us a note at


If you’re anything like me, your phone is glued to your hand almost 24/7. Mobile browsing is the quickest and most convenient way to stay up to date on everything happening around the world that interests me. It always feels like there’s never enough time in my day, so I use every extra minute – whether I’m standing in line at the grocery store, or on my way to work – to tackle the long list of reads that accrues daily.

Often it’s a piece a friend posted on Facebook or I’ll find myself on a new website by way of an article a co-worker dropped in Slack. Once I’ve finished reading, I go back to Facebook or Slack in search of the next thing that catches my eye. But why should I look further than where I already am? As a publisher, you should do your best to keep reader attention once they’re on your site.

In other words, interest readers in some other content within your site, otherwise they’ll just to go back to Facebook. 

We consume content on mobile in an entirely different way than on a desktop computer, so if you want to ensure your mobile audience keeps reading, first understand the different behavior then adapt a strategy that gives visitors opportunities to keep reading on your site, rather than giving them time to look elsewhere for the next piece of content they’ll read.

This is easier to do than you may think. All you need is Chartbeat’s Heads Up Display and your browser’s Developer Tools to simulate your visitors’ mobile experience.

Take a look at the desktop and mobile view of the article below. Desktop readers have several pieces they can easily click into from the right hand rail but that disappears for mobile users and gets pushed to the bottom of the page where the majority of visitors don’t even get to.

desktop-view mobile-view

So how can you see your site through your readers’ eyes to combat mobile drop-off?

  1. Load the Heads Up Display on the page where you want to mimic a mobile experience.
  2. Access DevTools by opening the Chrome menu at the top-right of your browser window, then select More Tools > Developer Tools.
  3. Toggle device toolbar and select the device that you want to mimic.
    Note: If you’re not using Google Chrome you can still emulate device types — that functionality is built into most modern browsers. Check out these instructions for Firefox, for Safari, and for Internet Explorer.

  4. Pivot on Mobile in the Heads Up Display dock to use the scroll depth indicator to inform where you can strategically place links and recommend other stories. Reminder: to expand the bars along the left, click on the scroll depth indicator.


And you don’t have to do this for every piece of content on your site. Pivot on mobile in your Chartbeat Dashboard and pick out the top performing pieces throughout the day and start with those. Make it easy for your mobile visitors to read more and more of the content you worked hard to create!

I hear from my clients all the time how using Chartbeat tools helps them reinforce their editorial instincts and develops a culture of data in their newsroom. Refining your content promotion strategy to pay special attention to the devices people are using can start slow, but will serve you well in the long run. As technology continues to evolve there will only be more devices and platforms that your audience will use to consume your content, and if optimizing reader experience is already one of your tried and true habits, you’ll be one step ahead of your competitors.

Data is addicting. Like a “runner’s high,” it’s a great feeling when you get that data moving in all the right directions. And the same principles that guide a dedicated running practice can also inform your data culture: look at your data in doses, meaningfully measure how you’re doing, change your routine, measure again, and stay consistent.

Website traffic is moving away from the homepage: most people around the world get their news via mobile devices. In the U.S., engaged time on mobile devices is about
30% greater than on desktop. In an increasingly mobile-first world, understanding how to maximize your mobile audience’s engagement can lead to that repeat effect.

And in comes one of the biggest buzzwords of 2016: “Distribution.” Most of this huge mobile audience is viewing content on new distributed platforms like Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP — check out the
report from our Lead Data Scientist, Dan Valente backing this up!

Let’s clear up a few things you probably already know:

  1. Facebook Instant Articles aren’t hosted by you – which means you don’t have too much control.
  2. A Google AMP page is your site – meaning you have more control over it.

When you look at the Chartbeat Dashboard, they aren’t bucketed in the same distribution category exactly for that reason: Facebook Instant and AMP articles cater to two separate audiences.


What these platforms have in common is that they were created with the reader in mind to provide a faster, more seamless user experience.

According to our very own
Tony Haile, the average bounce time for a new visitor is 15 seconds. If your site loads slower than that, you’ve already lost your audience before they even reach your content. The average AMP load time is 1.05 seconds. Huge difference: you’re now getting the most out of your traffic by making sure your audience can engage with your quality content in the quickest way possible.

And we’ve seen the payoff from keeping the reader in mind: readers on Instant Articles and AMP pages have an average engaged time of 53 and 52 seconds, respectively, compared to 46 and 38 seconds for regular Facebook and Google traffic referrals. Take that bump in engaged time to recirculate your audience through
your site; include those inline links to other articles.


Every indicator in the Chartbeat suite of tools leads to a different understanding of your audience and prompts a different action with your content. Our goal is to provide you with the tools you need to be data-confident in those actions, and this means staying up to date with the industry. With our Instant Articles and AMP integrations, you can be completely confident about adopting these new platforms, because you’ll still have the data you need to understand their unique audiences.

Take cues from Chartbeat tools to measure your efforts and audience, make changes to your content and distribution strategies, measure how those changes affect your traffic and audience engagement, and repeat: soon enough, you’ll be a well-oiled data machine.

Not set up with our Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP pages integrations yet? We’ve got you covered. Check out the Chartbeat docs to help you set it up: Chartbeat Integration Support Page.

Audience development is about the long game – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s about how the day-to-day successes of individual stories can replicate on a site- or publisher-level, and this can’t be done without first benchmarking team performance against bigger, organizational goals like audience engagement, reach, or revenue.

It’s not just about clicks, or engagement, or concurrent spikes. It’s about optimizing every step of the growth funnel: going from acquiring clicks to converting a new visitor. That’s where editorial analytics come in.

With Chartbeat Publishing, audience analysts can:


Take Control of Your Data Logs

Chartbeat Report Builder, our customizable historical reporting tool, enables audience analysts to really dig into the long-term audience behavior trends. Create flexible, custom historical reports according to the criteria and metrics of your choosing.


Benchmark Performance Like a Champ

Historical data is the evidence you need to validate or disprove assumptions you might be making about your audience. If you think your site works a particular way, does it actually? Use Report Builder to look back over a week, a month, even a year, and put those assumptions to the test. Mining your historical data with Report Builder can show you whether the little actions taken in real time are summing into larger change.

By subscribing to specific reports, you can have reports sent straight to your inbox automatically on a recurring basis. This gives you a much better sense of week-to-week, month-to-month, or even quarter-to-quarter performance.


Build a Collaborative Newsroom Workflow

Report Builder gives you the opportunity to easily share reports with anyone else on your team with just the touch of a button. The days of manually emailing spreadsheets out are gone. Report Builder also helps you inform the rest of the team about what’s working, and more importantly, what isn’t. By being the gate-keeper for historical data, it’s up to you to help the rest of the team create, adapt, and improve ongoing strategies. Align your team around meaningful audience development goals and give everyone the data they need to succeed.

When your whole team is aligned around common tools and meaningful metrics, performance management isn’t just tisking and tasking. It’s about uniting everyone in the newsroom within purposes larger than themselves.


Want to see how other team members can put Chartbeat tools to work? Check out the stories for content creators, producerssection editorshomepage editorsmobile editorsvideo editors, and social media managers

For more information on how Chartbeat Publishing helps Audience Development teams make it big, reach out to