After a few months of testing, Reuters is pulling the plug on the Americas Dealzone chatroom on Reuters Messaging, the company confirmed. In a memo obtained by paidContent, Martin Howell, Reuters’ news editor for the Americas, told staffers the company couldn’t attract enough customers to sign up for the trial. “This doesn’t mean we won’t be replacing it with some kind of interactive chatroom/facebook-type product in the very near future,” Howell wrote. “Discussions are being actively held with various parts of the business about how to leverage all of the deals news, data and intelligence within Thomson Reuters (NSDQ: TRIN) into a single such product.”
The idea behind the service, aside from driving revenue from subscribers, was to inject some social media into Reuters’ news coverage for Sales and Trading clients. Sources at the company insisted that Reuters has been doing this in a number of different areas at the company for over a year. One examples include the communities in Reuters Messaging that connect clients with reporters and executives for one-on-one discussions. Reuters.com has also gotten more blog-focused, as the company has sought to establish niche communities around specific industries. The problem with finance may have been that many companies have strict codes that govern dealmakers’ activity. Since it was untried, potential customers were naturally averse.
Howell’s full memo is below:
“Many thanks to all those who have contributed to the Americas Dealzone chatroom trial on Reuters Messaging over the past couple of months. We have decided to suspend it for the time being, mainly because we were unable to get enough clients with a focus on the deals world to sign up for the trial. This doesn’t mean we won’t be replacing it with some kind of interactive chatroom/facebook-type product in the very near future. Discussions are being actively held with various parts of the business about how to leverage all of the deals news, data and intelligence within Thomson Reuters into a single such product. There is a real opportunity here to challenge DealBook and other such products and I am convinced we need to seize it. We learned a lot in the trial — some days this team was able to produce as many as 100 posts, there was plenty of linking to our own and external stories and sites, and the discussion was often compelling. One lesson I will take away is that a full-time editor will probably be needed if we are to really get such a product off the ground in a sustainable way.”