Talking tech since 2003

Six year old content recommendation platform, Taboola, is launching a brand new feature today called Taboola Choice.  The new feature will allow hundreds of millions of people to choose and control the recommended content they see across thousands of online publications, including Time.com, Boston.com, USAToday.com, and many others. Taboola currently serves up to three billion recommendations every day across its network of publishers.

yahoo-content-filtering
An example of Yahoo giving users the ability to filter content on its home page.

Up until now users had to rely on Taboola’s technology alone to determine whether or not a piece of content was worth recommending to them.  That isn’t the case anymore. Now, with Taboola Choice, users can choose to further personalize the recommendation experience by informing Taboola when they don’t like a recommendation. The way it works is simple: as people discover content around the web, they can click “X” on recommended articles or videos that do not appeal to them from the site they are on, or from around the web.  Once a user clicks “X” it will result in the user never seeing such content again across Taboola’s entire network of publishers.

The idea of filtering out content that doesn’t appeal to users isn’t new, Yahoo is doing it with its brand new homepage relaunch and Facebook (Ad-Mute) and Google (Ad Choice) let you block or mute specific ads. However, Taboola is the first player in the content recommendation platform space that is offering such a feature.

According to Adam Singolda, Taboola CEO, the company is introducing this feature for three key reasons:

Users: When speaking with Mr. Singolda he was quick to point out you can skip or dislike a song on Pandora, but that same concept is missing in the content recommendation world. Mr. Singolda believes this is a unique moment for his company to improve the content consumption experience across the web.

Technology: Mr. Singolda wants to use Taboola Choice to improve people’s web experience and make better recommendations.  In addition to that, he hopes Taboola Choice will help the company’s product work better for all the publishers they work with. After all, if Taboola isn’t working well for publishers, it certainly isn’t going to be working well for the 300 million visitors who see and interact with Taboola’s content recommendations every month.

Editors: And perhaps the most interesting reason (at least to me) why Taboola built Taboola Choice is because it can tell editors what content people aren’t liking on their site. “How can we equip editors with even more tools than they had before?” said Mr. Singolda. Sure it’s nice to know how well a piece of content is being shared across social or how many visits it got, but knowing which content isn’t resonating with your audience will be extremely helpful in determining future content.

taboola-choice

Taboola understands that publishers are giving up space on their site to run Taboola’s recommendations, so the company makes every effort to give its publishers and partners the best tools. The Taboola dashboard offers a great deal of functionality, including the ability for publishers to configure how Taboola works on their site.

Taboola Choice will launch on Time.com and Boston.com and will then be slowly rolled out to the rest of the network.


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