Industry: Financial Services
Team Size: 250
Location: United States
Registered Users: 7M+ users
Monthly Unique Visitors: 15M+
SeekingAlpha is an investing platform where investing experts provide exclusive real-time investing ideas or trading tips on stocks, bonds, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.
They empower investors to make informed investing decisions by providing them with access to independent and balanced stock research, fundamental analysis tools, crowdsourced debate, reliable news, and act.
In 2005, when SeekingAlpha was born, the thought of having 15M+ visitors/month wouldn’t have seemed like a real possibility. The platform evolved over time from an aggregator that reposted content that appeared elsewhere to a platform that paid for original investing analysis. The next step in this evolution was providing a platform for the best among their thousands of active contributors to offer subscription services to the site’s readers, giving authors the ability to interact directly with individual investors. Thus the Seeking Alpha Marketplace was born.
In addition to a regular stream of articles and trading ideas, a focal point of Seeking Alpha Marketplace’s service is the community they engender around specific investing styles or themes. At first, Seeking Alpha decided to build its own chat client. But the challenges of keeping up with a constantly evolving modern feature set soon became clear and so the company searched for an open-source chat alternative that would be sound architecturally, offer a cutting edge and constantly improving feature set, yet allow for Seeking Alpha’s developers to build out and refine features as needed. Enter Rocket.Chat into the Seeking Alpha universe.
SeekingAlpha implemented Rocket.Chat as their communication platform for Marketplace subscribers in early 2018, and immediately started noticing the difference. The platform helps them provide a VIP experience for subscribers, providing them with access to top investing ideas and market research throughout the trading day.
According to Jonathan Liss, Sr. Product Manager for the Seeking Alpha Marketplace, the platform has proven to be a great retention tool for the company. In large part to this, the Seeking Alpha Marketplace more than doubled its revenue in 2020. Their remarkable growth was facilitated by centralizing their thousands of messages every single market day on a reliable and stable platform as Rocket.Chat, which allowed them to have:
- 700+ discussion rooms
- Tens of thousands of unique chat users
- As many as 20,000 concurrent chat users at a single time
- More than 230,000 direct conversations between users
- Hundreds of thousands of messages a day
The ability to discuss stocks and other securities in real-time during the trading day as shown by the picture below has been a great differentiator for the platform. Investors now have a separate workspace which has really been “an improvement both in terms of performance and server loads,” said Jonathan.
A truly unified user experience
By integrating Rocket.Chat to their homepage, SeekingAlpha could easily separate the website content from real-time communications from Rocket.Chat. “Our website content is so immersive that having a chat on the side of a page when you’re trying to read an article or look over like a balance sheet was too distracting,” said Jonathan. The problem was easily fixed when they found that “Rocket.chat’s alerts and notifications were extremely responsive”, said Jonathan. Ultimately, this helped them improve their platform user experience. Their users are “happy to have the chat open as a full page when they’re using chat, and to be on SeekingAlpha when they’re on SeekingAlpha”.
Improved user discussions supported by the versatility of live chat features
“It’s really, really incredible and these guys have found very creative ways to use Rocket.Chat’s services,” said Jonathan. Users can be really creative about the community chatrooms – some of the chat rooms are read-only with links to six other chat rooms, including feedback, support, and all their different portfolios. They also create broad discussions through Rocket.Chat, and use the main chat room like a lobby to access all the other rooms.
Outstanding user interface to help users quickly find what they need
The search functionality is highly valued by SeekingAlpha users: “If I input the term “GDX” in there, it will really bring out all of the mentions of it right over here [in the main channel]. There’s also specifically the file search, which is nice if you just want to see all the charts. If you don’t, you can really limit it by choosing the types of files you want to retrieve”, said Jonathan.
Moreover, the ability to have individual conversations and quickly ask for financial advice is essential since there are a lot of one-on-ones happening daily on the platform as well. For the near future, Jonathan says SeekingAlpha will “double down on our relationship with Rocket.Chat to make sure we move toward using their marketplace features, such as pooling customers”.