Buy or build your content moderation tool: 4 questions that can save you a ton of frustration.

Having quality tools is key to performing well. That’s true for content moderation as well. An outdated or feature incomplete platform affects everyone from CEO to content moderator. And the consequences can be dire ranging from lacking user and operational insights to decreased productivity or even the inability to perform important tasks.

If you are looking for your first content moderation tool or considering exchanging your in-house platform it’s a good idea to take a step back and consider the options available. It might be tempting to hand the task and your specifications to your dev team and await delivery. On the other hand, it might be better to buy an off the shelves solution that’s plug and play. In short should you build or buy?

The answer is of course very dependent on your situation, your company and your current requirements. We’ve created a list of questions that you should ask yourself and an overview of pros and cons to help you take a more informed decision.

  1. Is content moderation business defining or business critical?
  2. What are the time constraints for implementing a moderation solution?
  3. What developer resources do you have available?
  4. What is your budget?

 

Is content moderation business defining or business critical?

10 years ago, most online platforms didn’t prioritize content moderation as there was a lot less understanding of the negative impact from bad content. Today, most agree that content moderation is business critical to ensure user trust and ensure conversion. However, business critical isn’t the same as business defining.

For most customer facing businesses, a help-desk tool is critical, but unless customer support and how it’s delivered is a core part of your USP the software you use for customer queries doesn’t have to be unique to your business.

What you do want though, is a platform that is stable, has all required features and is updated regularly as requirement shift.

 

What are the time constraints for implementing a new moderation solution?

What is the timeline for implementing your new solution? Building a moderation platform from scratch can be a yearlong project depending on how many developers you can throw at the task.

At the other side of the coin, even out of the box solutions usually require some level of integration with your current systems. It’s good to get an idea of requirements early in the decision process so you understand the timeline for either option. If you do decide to buy, shop around a bit to understand the difference between vendors and how much effort they will put into supporting you during the integration step.

 

What developer resources do you have available?

Before committing to building or buying you should figure out what developer resources you realistically have at your disposal. Keep in mind that content moderation tools are an almost living entity that needs to develop with your product and ongoing trends.

When you evaluate your developer need for an in-house solution, remember to include ongoing maintenance and new feature development.

For bought solutions you should as mentioned before do a discovery call with potential vendors to understand how much time integration will take.

 

What is your budget?

Budget is always an important aspect when deciding whether to build or buy. It can be really hard to estimate the cost for a content moderation solution regardless of whether you build and buy. Many vendors will have on-boarding fees, monthly fee and price/item which can make obscure to predict the actual monthly bill.

For in-house projects on the other hand, it’s easy to forget the cost of management, salaries, project meetings, and ongoing management and feature updates.

Most importantly many companies forget to keep opportunity cost in mind. What unique features could our developers have created for our core product instead of building a moderation platform?

Whether you decide to build or buy, spend some time investigating potentially hidden costs to avoid unpleasant surprises.

If you buy, go with a partner that is transparent and straight forward.

If you build, map out every cost, not just direct developer costs, but also adjacent expenditures, especially after the project has been delivered.
 

Building a Content Moderation Platform:

ProsCons
Greater feature control (within the project and budget scope)Even well-planned projects are subject to scope creep, going over budget or surpassing deadline
You can build the exact tool you need, and ensure that it fits with all your other in-house toolsIt’s likely that there’s a product on the market that already matches most of your requirements. Developing from scratch might waste money and time when there’s potentially already an off the shelf solution that would fit your needs.
Significant upfront and hidden ongoing costs
Timescale for building an in-house tool is significantly higher than buying an off the shelf solution

 

Buying a Content Moderation Platform:

ProsCons
Ongoing feature addition from vendors with their main focus on content moderation software development.Less customization to your particular needs. If a solution has missing features, make sure you check with the vendor to see if it’s on their roadmap.
Low upfront cost.While the initial cost may not be high, you should ensure that you understand the ongoing monthly cost and any additional fees in case your volumes grow.
Ongoing support, training and maintenance.
Fast go live date.While you will be able to deploy a purchased tool faster, make sure you do consider implementation time.
Tech knowledge loss protection. When buying you are not dependent on in-house developers with certain knowledge and wont have to worry about them leaving. Buying protects you from development delays and additional cost related to rehiring and training.

The decision to buy or build is never easy and very dependent on the business and the use cases. In most cases, asking yourself whether building an in-house solution will give you a competitive edge or if the needs can be sufficiently covered by an already existing content moderation platform.

If you want to better understand your options, feel free to reach out to us and get a transparent offer for a tailored content moderation solution.

Or check out Kaidees experience with our content moderation tools.

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