Look Ahead: A Different Vū
Posted: 12/2/2013  |  By: Nu Yang
Vu Digital wants to give readers a new kind of site experience—the more personalized, the better. Launched in February and headquartered in Ridgeland, Miss., the Vu team is looking for publishers interested in partnering on this new venture.

Earlier this year, the company first approached large news organizations such as AOL, Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal. “They told us to come back when we had a million users,” said Allison Talley, senior manager, product development.

Since then, Vu launched Vu Mobile in April and Vu Finder in August. According to Liz Whelan, communications, Vu now has more than 400 sites that have created publisher accounts and Talley reports their content is available to more than 400,000 users. “Now, we’re back talking to the big publishers,” Talley said.

Vu Finder works as a social tool for publishers. It generates a small line of code inserted on their website; it appears as a set of widgets, similar to a Facebook or Twitter icon. Publishers can customize the icon and site placement. When users click on the Vu icon, they log-in using social media or their email address, turning them into “Vuers.” From there, Vu plugs into the publisher’s website and provides personalized content for Vuers using original algorithms based on their unique profiles. Vuers can change their preferences and as they navigate through the site, they receive recommendations and immediately find articles of interest, leading to higher site engagement.

According to Talley, “When site visitors stay on a site longer, they are exposed to more paid ads, they become more loyal and they are more likely to share content.”

Vu also provides publishers site analytics. Publishers get access to targeted user profiles to help penetrate new markets, leverage site data to offer better content and targeted advertising, and increase reading time. The data collection is all done on Vu’s end.

Talley said Vu is also a way for publishers to create new revenue streams. Vu has the ability to insert paid content from a site into its recommended reading. For subscription-based sites, Talley said as more content becomes relevant for readers, site visitors are more likely to see a site’s value and buy a subscription.  

Talley said Vu will soon release a new set of widgets that will integrate a social component. It is a paid feature, but it will include a free trial for publishers.

She sees personalized content becoming more of a priority for publishers and readers. “The momentum is high right now,” Talley said. “Publishers should capitalize on their content.”

For more information, visit myvu.com.