You’ll notice a change later today on Xtra. We’ve made the decision to remove user commenting from our website.
Don’t worry. We’re leaving the option open on all of our social media accounts. We still want to engage in conversations with you, hear your reactions to stories and, overall, leave multiple doors open for feedback.
Our decision is part of a larger effort to reimagine and refresh how we can best connect with you in meaningful ways. It has become increasingly clear that you want to engage with us in the same places—think TikTok, Instagram and other social platforms—where you engage with others on a daily basis. Removing commenting at Xtra means we’ll have the resources to do this with more breadth and depth while still adhering to the strict guidelines we set for on-site commenters to keep things civil.
Countless news industry studies have emphasized the importance of reaching people where they are for years. You drove the point home in our recent Xtra Reader Survey. And, threats from tech giants Meta and Google to block Canadian journalism from news feeds and search results in response to Bill C-18 means, depending on where you live, getting to our website might not be easy in the near future.
We’ve already made a lot of changes in an effort to get ahead of the curve.
In the last six months alone, among other things, we’ve overhauled storytelling on our existing social media channels, started publishing on TikTok, expanded our free newsletters and refocused our content lineup to double down on what you told us was most valuable to you.
There’s a lot still to come. Our promise to you is that it will mean more engagement, experiences that provide more direct connections with our team and new content offerings that build on the momentum of our recent gold medal win at the Digital Publishing Awards.
If you were a member of Xtra’s commenting community, thank you. We’re encouraging you, and everyone else, to join us in queering the conversation by:
- Subscribing to our free newsletters.
- Following us on social media and engaging in the conversation there. We’re on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter (er … I mean, X).
- Reaching out to us directly with story ideas and constructive feedback. You can drop us an email via [email protected]. Or, you can reach out to individual members of the team.
Thank you for your support.