ALL ABOUT INNOVATING
Vessel Advisor and Publisher, Shveta Moller, talks data, visual discovery and her first encounter with the Vessel platform.
What did Vessel’s product look like at the beginning and how has it evolved?
At the time, Vessel was trying to launch an app where users could check-in at locations and receive any visual content the content-creator had uploaded. The problem with the app, however, was that it didn’t provide a user-friendly experience because in order to receive content from an influencer, the follower had to download a separate application. Vessel knew this was suboptimal with regard to creating a user-friendly experience, so they scrapped it and moved to the plug-in model. This switch made it so that no one had to download a special tool to access Vessel’s maps. For example, with the plug-in model, the tool is already built into my guides, so by virtue of simply visiting my posts, readers are free to explore curated maps with no further action required on their part.
You play an influential role in the Austin food blogger community, can you talk about your experience in starting ATX_Bites?
I started the @atx_bites Instagram account five years ago. The intent behind starting it was simple: to share pictures of pretty food with whoever wanted to follow me. I very quickly learned that people really do enjoy looking at pictures of food. I think this is because we not only eat using our mouths, but through our eyes as well. Over time, my Instagram became quite popular and I decided that I wanted to join the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance (AFBA), but in order to be a part of the AFBA I needed to create a blog. So, two years ago I created a blog where I published a variety of food guides. I was already traveling to places like Portland, Scottsdale, and Denver for fun and thought it would be helpful to people if I put together dining recommendations in the cities I visited.
How did your partnership with Vessel begin?
In 2017, Vessel reached out to me to talk about what the company was and how we could work together to make their tool available on my blog. It was fun being involved with them during the beginning stages - back when they were WutzGood - because I absolutely loved the idea and thought they were creating something that could be useful to people in my niche and beyond.
Lets dive in deeper...
How do these changes affect your brand?
Any concluding remarks?
Vessel has come a long way in a short amount of time. I know restaurants here in the Austin area think Vessel is brilliant. They believe this is the next step for a lot of brands to collaborate with publishers who share their aesthetic and voice, and all of them are already dreaming about how it could be paired with reservation tools like Open Table or Resy. There have been some great conversations around Vessel.
What were the key moments and decisions that made Vessel even better for you?
In addition to scrapping the app, a second key decision Vessel made was to provide analytics and insights into the maps themselves. This gives content-producers access to the knowledge they need to be able to approach the businesses they are promoting and tell them what this tool is indirectly doing for them.
Have these analytics helped to shape the content you provide to your followers?
Yes. Vessel is particularly helpful when I create listicles highlighting multiple locations. Vessel will tell me the total amount of minutes a particular map is viewed. When I take the total number of minutes a map is viewed and compare it with the content, I can gain an understanding of the type of content that especially captures my audience and provide more of that.
Are there any analytics you would like Vessel to provide content-producers with in the future?
I would like to see Vessel allow content-producers to see the split between the amount of time a user spends on a picture vs a video, then specify the types of videos and pictures that are getting the most view-time. This would allow me to adjust my content and provide pictures and videos that further meet the needs of the people reading my guides.
“I thought my blog posts were pretty dope before... then entered Vessel. Now my blog posts are next level with a built-in interactive map that allows you to post pictures and videos! It's truly a game-changer”