What Is ShoutBack

ShoutBack is a linguistics analytics engine that powers two interrelated services:





A novel structured means for online media outlets to engage their readers, that is less cumbersome than a "comment" and more informative than a "like".

Real-time aggregation of online readers’ opinions about people, brands, and organizations in the news for use by the media, analysts, and reputation managers.

How Does It Work

Here is the plain-language 3-step explanation from a user perspective:



1. ShoutBack’s linguistic engine analyzes the contents of an online publication and extracts a list of important concepts discussed in it (e.g., people, brands, organizations).

For the story "Hillary Clinton wins 4 states, Donald Trump sweeps all 5", the list of top votable items is: 1.Republican Party; 2.Democratic Party; 3.Hillary Clinton; 4.Donald Trump; 5.Ted Cruz.

2. Readers can express their visceral reactions to the news by voting with "thumb up" or "thumb down" on each item on this list, during or immediately after reading the article.

Thus, ShoutBack gives them VOICE.

Each reader will have their own combination of "thumb up" and "thumb down" votes among these options.

3. ShoutBack’s engine gathers all the votes across topics and media outlets, and allows for real-time analysis and data mining of readers’ opinions.

Thus, ShoutBack captures the PULSE.

Analysts, marketers, pollsters, journalists, academics, celebrities, reputation managers and anyone else could look up the aggregated results, or slice and dice it the way they need it.

Why Is It Valuable

Online Media Outlets

Engage your readers and keep a finger on their pulse. ShoutBack offers a structured engagement that can supplement or replace comments.

Online media players consider reader engagement as critical, yet moderating reader comments has proved to be cumbersome. In fact, media leaders like Reuters, Huffington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Popular Science and many others are ending or significantly limiting comments on news stories.

Online Readers

Express yourself in an intuitive way, and see how your opinions compare with those of others.

Opinion researchers

Get real-time, context-specific, opinion heat map. Use built-in analytical methods for comparative study of one or several concepts, timeline of positive and negative votes, rate of approval and variety of correlations between concepts. You can analyze, for example, readers’ opinion about Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump in the context of primary elections in US. You can also study if there is a difference between readers’ perception about Obama in Israel vs Obama and basketball.

What do we sell

We sell objective, impartial and unambiguous database of global pool of opinions and powerful tool for statistical analyses. We provide freemium services as:

  • Access to the tools for opinion polls analytics
  • Custom reports and research
  • API access for automated opinion polls services
  • Instant alerts to organisations, politicians and celebrities wanting to monitor their own or their competitors reputation

Who are we selling to

Everyone interested in public opinion, such as:

  • Market research and opinion polls agencies
  • Professionals - market analysts, sociological pollsters, policy makers, journalists, academics
  • People and organizations that are interested in reputation management - politicians, political parties, celebrities, top brand companies

Why should online media adopt it

For the online media stakeholders it is important to know the readers’ profile. The current feedback channel between media and readers are comments under publication. It is expensive to support the comments and media need additional IT infrastructure and moderators to avoid hate speech or abuse. Comments are also unstructured and difficult to be analysed.

ShoutBack offers a free structured engagement for the readers that can replace or amplify comments.

Why should readers adopt it

According to the BJ Fogg’s Behaviour Model there must be three elements at the same moment for a behaviour to occur: Motivation, Ability and Trigger:

  • Motivation is present – the reader reads the article, so he/she is interested
  • Ability is high – voting is simple and intuitive, just one click needed
  • Trigger is also there – the list of votable concepts is right next to the text of the article

fictional Use Cases

Online Media Outlets

Henry, Head of Strategy at Media Co, is tasked with stemming the depressing trend of falling reader engagement, especially among younger readers. He sees ShoutBack as complementing the suite of online reader engagement tools - it is much easier than writing a comment, yet allows for a more specific self-expression than simply "liking" or sharing an entire article. Henry especially appreciates how easy it is for like-minded readers to connect not based on real-life friendship, but based on shared opinions. That has given him a whole new set of community-building and reader engagement ideas. The analytical capabilities of ShoutBack to track the “pulse of the world” in real time, and to drill down on trends, have been invaluable for Henry (not to mention his Editorial desk colleagues). Henry is now able to truly understand who engages with what conversations.


As a teacher, Danielle cares about education and is closely following the national debate on charter schools. She comments heavily on related articles and frequently shares them on her FaceBook page. Danielle never misses a chance to vote "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" on the ShoutBack suggestions in the news. She calls this "democracy done the right way" because politicians can hear from the people as the debate unfolds, not only around election time. Through ShoutBack, Danielle was able to connect with others who shared her opinions and organize a community hearing that raised awareness among parents. On a lighter note, ShoutBack connected Danielle with the fan club of a local teen band.


David, veteran CMO, embraces the new "omni channel" world in which marketers no longer control brand messaging. Ten years ago, he would hire a market research firm for a two-month study with focus groups and surveys. Then, his team would strategize, segment, and develop marketing campaigns to broadcasting one-way brand messages. And then, he’d hire another consultancy to evaluate the impact of these efforts. Today, everything happens in real time, and what’s more, it is consumers who control the conversation. ShoutBack has become David’s favorite market insights source. He uses it to continuously monitor corporate reputation and brand perception. It is also his go-to place for instantaneous, unbiased, unfiltered customer insights rooted in the conversations people engage in. A click of the mouse gives him timely and more accurate picture of what he used to get after months of research.


Mike is the top analyst at the Senator’s office. Mike’s life was transformed the moment he subscribed to the ShoutBack analytical platform. As soon as he wakes up, he logs into his ShoutBack account to see the overnight global press digest on topics he has defined in his filters. He can drill down by issue, geography, outlets, demographics, etc. and set automated alerts to apprise him of developing trends. Mike selects a custom report he has defined and distributes it to his colleagues so they have it when they get to the office. Then Mike hits the shower, turning the TV on as a background noise.

Societal impact

ShoutBack gives voice to readers, so that their opinions count!

While ShoutBack has a clear business value proposition, it also has a broader disruptive potential to spark new dynamics in society. It can redefine the relationship between politicians and the public by offering real-time, unfiltered, all-inclusive, steady feedback information flow. In contrast, currently, people exercise their "voice" by voting at periodic elections. A few also get polled to answer specific questions in between elections, or express their scattered views in social media.

Try It

To dig into the technology behind the scenes, play with our demo:

ShoutBack Voice is an online newspaper mockup showing how ShoutBack analyses news content, extracts votable concepts, ranks them by their importance and provides the user with an intuitive interface to express their opinion.

ShoutBack Pulse is an opinion mining tool. The gathered votes from different news articles, comprise a live big data opinion poll on various topics. ShoutBack Pulse allows for real-time analysis and data mining of readers’ opinions.