Hi there,

It was a true pleasure to spend a month immersed in the world of artificial intelligence during 'smartoctober’ with you. It's a topic that often raises uncertainty and concerns, but we hope to have alleviated some of those worries.

To top off the month, you can still register for this afternoon's webinar, where our CEO Erik van Heeswijk will unveil the steps smartocto is taking with artificial intelligence. Thanks to further integrating AI into the tool, we are now capable of evaluating content more effectively, providing even smarter tips and suggestions for online editors. This means assistance in crafting alternative headlines, helping to rephrase paragraphs where readers tend to disengage, or being able to issue tips such as:

"In the morning, too many articles are being published on the website. Find out here what a better timing would be..."

Erik will explain what smartocto can already do, how articles are protected against copyright theft, and what the future may hold in the webinar at 3:00 PM. You can also register even if you can't attend, as you'll receive the recording.


Just a decade ago, online media publishers had to interpret data themselves. The tools providing insight were like a map for a driver; you had to figure out where to turn left and right to reach your destination. 

Thanks to notifications based on machine learning, smartocto has become a navigation system that knows where you're heading - and even considers traffic on the way. If you extend this metaphor, smartocto.ai is an adaptive cruise control with lane assistance.

Nice metaphor, for sure, but what does that look like in your real working life? Our lead data scientist Goran S. Milovanović explains: "By prioritising stories following AI suggestions, fine-tuning headlines, and rewriting content as recommended, editors and newsrooms pave the way for more informed decision-making."

Get a sneak peek behind the scenes with the team that’s integrating artificial intelligence into the smartocto tool.

Rewriting with artificial intelligence of smartocto

A personal virtual assistant

While the previous blog provided some insight, we want to take things a step further. New technology also brings about a new dimension for content teams, which we refer to as a virtual assistant.

Your virtual assistant can handle the heavy lifting when it comes to data – tasks that can significantly enhance your output but require more time and expertise to perform manually.

Can't someone within the organisation handle these tasks?

Perhaps. However, considering everyone's busy schedules, providing insights that are truly game-changing demands the distillation and analysis of extensive data – something your colleagues are unlikely to be able to tackle given their existing workloads.

We firmly believe that a virtual assistant can assume various roles in the editorial process. In the graph below, you can see the roles and potential recommendations associated with them. In the blog, we put this into perspective and also explain why embracing this assistance from artificial intelligence is a wise choice.

virtual assistant

NEWS: A/B testing of images

Just to be clear: this new feature of smartocto is not associated with the developments around AI. At least not yet. But it's with great pleasure we can announce that besides evaluating headlines and teasers, clients can now incorporate A/B testing of images to enhance the appeal of their articles to visitors too.

Why would this be a smart investment?

  • Data-driven decisions: make informed content decisions based on data and insights from image testing.
  • Enhanced engagement: improve article performance by optimising visuals for greater reader engagement.
  • User appeal: appeal to readers with visuals that resonate, enhancing the overall visitor experience.
  • Proven success: leveraging image testing is in line with established A/B testing for headlines and is likely to be just as successful. 

So, how successful has this been? Well, we analysed nearly 9,000 articles from 57 news sites around the world published during June 2023. The winning headline had 19.3% more clicks than the original and loyalty went up from 81% to 84%. If you’d like to learn more, please get in touch.


  • Journalists are now facing more online attacks than ever before. The Global Reporting Centre found that 63% of the 645 journalists surveyed faced monthly online attacks; 19% experienced it on a daily basis. The Fix shared three solutions for newsrooms to address the alarming tide of online hate against women journalists.
  • BBC expert on debunking Israel-Hamas war visuals: “The volume of misinformation on Twitter was beyond anything I’ve ever seen.” He shares his insights at The Reuters Institute.
  • INMA.org publishes about how successful media brands have their own set of user needs that enable them to better connect with their audiences and enhance the performance of their sites. The Conversation demonstrates how it realised brand-specific user needs are essential, after some help of smartocto.
  • For the Chicago-based Investigative Project on Race and Equity, training the next generation matters as much as the reporting, Niemanlab writes.


With this, and after the final webinar, we've come to the end of 'smartoctober.' However, it's not the end of what there is to say and share about artificial intelligence. There are certainly more developments on the horizon as we approach the end of the year. We'll also shift our focus more towards the outside world because this newsletter is primarily here to spotlight the most significant movements in the media sector.

Feel free to forward this newsletter, and please let us know if there's something you believe deserves our attention.

See you in two weeks!

Team smartocto