Clara Tsao is Co-Founder of the Trust & Safety Professionals Association ("TSPA"), a new, nonprofit, member-based organization for trust & safety professionals that launched in June 2020.
Trust & Safety shouldn't end at removing toxicity. Incentivizing healthy behavior helps your users feel more welcome and makes your community a more appealing space. An intentional focus on driving healthy behavior will fuel your online platform's user retention and overall growth.
Healthy behavior is good for business.
When users have positive interactions on a platform, they keep coming back and engaging with the community. According to Trust & Safety leaders in our #TSCollective, new users with positive first-time experiences on a platform are 6x more likely to return.
In other words: Healthy behavior is critical for retention and growth.
Platforms that incentivize healthy behavior end up inherently combatting toxicity by promoting positive user interactions. A great example of this is Blizzard Entertainment's successful endorsement system in their Overwatch game. After implementing peer endorsements for healthy behavior such as good sportsmanship, Blizzard saw a 40% drop in toxicity within Overwatchmatches. And that was just from a system encouraging positive behavior – the most effective moderation systems have a two-pronged approach of boosting healthy behavior and removing harmful behavior.
A less toxic, more positive platform also is better positioned to achieve higher KPIs:
- Retention: A 5% increase in customer retention increases profits by 25-95%. Considering that it is 6-7x more expensive to gain a new user than to keep an existing one, promoting healthy behavior helps your platform (at the very least) run a more cost-efficient operation by boosting retention rates for new and current users.
- Engagement: A more enjoyable platform keeps users active and engaged thru positive interactions. Rampant toxicity can drive users away – a study by the Anti-Defamation League found that 22% of online gamers stopped playing certain titles due to toxicity. A similar figure can be seen in the 26% of Facebook users who have deleted the app off their phone since 2017 and 42% who've taken a break of “several weeks or more” from the platform.
- Average Revenue Per User (ARPU): A more engaged community is much more likely to spend money for perks, like custom avatars for an online game or more features on a dating app. Retailers and advertisers also tend to "Super Like" healthy communities, and will invest more for a presence on platforms that don't pose a risk for their brands.
A healthy platform attracts more advertiser revenue.
Brands are very conscious of their public image, and will avoid associations with toxic communities. In recent memory, the following companies have withheld more than a billion dollars in advertising from online platforms that they considered too harmful for their brands:
Simply put: A strategy for healthy behaviors is crucial for platforms that want ad revenue.
Spectrum Labs has consistently advised that Trust & Safety should be built into platforms from the design phase – and that includes a system to promote healthy behavior. Keep your users engaged, so your community can thrive and become a more enticing outlet for advertisers.
Spectrum Labs' Healthy Behaviors AI can be added to your current content moderation stack, or our team can plot a 360° solution for your platform to detect both toxic and healthy behaviors.