Number of locations
|Adam Singolda, CEO|
|Products||Taboola Feed, Taboola Newsroom|
|Revenue||>$750 million (2017)|
Number of employees
Taboola is a private advertising company headquartered in New York City. It provides advertisements such as the "Around the Web" and "Recommended For You" boxes at the bottom of many online news articles. The company was founded in 2007. By 2015, it had raised more than $157 million in funding.
Taboola was founded in 2007 by Adam Singolda. The company began in Israel and initially provided a recommendation engine for video content. Headquarters were later moved to New York City. Taboola raised $1.5 million in funding in November 2007. This was followed by $4.5 million in November 2008, and $9 million in August 2011. Additionally, Taboola raised $15 million in February 2013. By 2017, Taboola was used to provide 1.5 billion article recommendations per day, due to adoption by major news websites.
In 2014, Taboola acquired a California-based programmatic advertising company called Perfect Market. In February 2015, Taboola raised $117 million in a Series E funding round. That May, Taboola announced additional funding from Baidu for an undisclosed amount. In July 2016, Taboola acquired ConvertMedia, a recommendation engine for video content. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. In January 2017, Taboola acquired a website personalization firm called Commerce Sciences, for an undisclosed sum. Commerce Sciences' technology may re-work a website's layout, based on whether a user is more likely to click on a banner ad, newsletter, or video.
Taboola creates the "Around The Web" and "Recommended For You" boxes at the bottom of many webpages. Additionally, it can recommend video content or user-generated content. Taboola is used by content publishers to encourage users to view more articles on the same site, or to gain revenues for referral traffic. Marketers and brands bid for views of their content. Then, an algorithm displays the advertiser's content to certain website users based on the content the user is viewing, the content's length and metadata, the user's history, and other factors. The most popular ad categories on Taboola are finance and fitness. Taboola also has tools for publishers to remove offensive content and vet ads before they are displayed.
An article in Fortune said much of the content recommended by Taboola is "the worst of the Web." Recommended articles include things like “The World’s Cutest Cat Pictures All On One Site” and “Top 15 Celebrities You Didn’t Know are Black”. According to Fortune, "Popular content isn’t always good content." Taboola founder Singolda said the ads help support a sustainable business model for journalism and the company vets ads before they are displayed.
Critics argue that services like Taboola are used for clickbait or fake news. An analysis conducted by ChangeAdvertising in September 2016 found 26 percent of sponsored links on services like Outbrain and Taboola were clickbait. One ad on Taboola was for a fake news story claiming Muslim nurses were refusing to wash their hands before surgery at hospitals in the United Kingdom. Taboola said it would never knowingly allow a fake news ad to be displayed and that it took down the ad immediately. A company spokesperson said Taboola attempts to balance promoting free speech by allowing articles promoting unpopular views, with the need to screen for fake news or other misleading websites.
In May 2014, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) requested that Taboola make it more clear that its recommended links are sponsored by advertisers. At the time, the disclosure that links are sponsored was in small grey font in the upper-right-hand corner of the recommended articles box, which the BBB said was not prominent enough. Taboola argued it was not an advertiser and its disclosures were clear, but agreed to make the disclosure more prominent.
- blogtaboola (January 9, 2018). "Taboola 2017 Year In Review—We Now Recommend To Nearly Half The Globe's Internet Users". Taboola Blog. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
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- Wauters, Robin (2013-02-19). "Content Recommendation Specialist Taboola Raises $15 Million". The Next Web. Retrieved 2016-05-16.
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- Lunden, Ingrid (July 26, 2016). "Taboola steps up in video, buys ConvertMedia for shy of $100M". TechCrunch. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
- Marshall, Jack (January 4, 2017). "Taboola Acquires Website Personalization Specialist Commerce Sciences". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
- Lawler, Ryan (January 18, 2013). "After Growing Revenue 750% In 2012 And Conquering Video, Taboola Goes After Article Recommendations". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
- Richards, Katie. "Website Recommendation Company Taboola Says It's On Pace To Do $250 Million In Revenue". Business Insider. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
- Grant, Rebecca (February 19, 2013). "Taboola spices up video advertising with $15M". VentureBeat. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
- Davis, Wendy (May 20, 2014). "Better Business Bureau Tells Taboola To Make 'Sponsored Content' Disclosures More Prominent". Media Post. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
- Maheshwari, Sapna; Herrman, John (October 30, 2016). "Publishers Are Rethinking Those 'Around the Web' Ads". The New York Times. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
- Lawler, Ryan. "Taboola Now Lets You Filter Out Content Recommendations That You Don't Want To See". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
- Lawler, Ryan (December 19, 2013). "Taboola Launches An API To Bring Its Content Recommendations To Native Mobile Apps". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
- Lunden, Ingrid (May 23, 2017). "Taboola intros Facebook-style 'news feed' to target mobile users with more links". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
- Cerullo, Megan (May 24, 2017). "Daily News partners with Taboola to add endless scroll to website". NY Daily News. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
- Temperton, James (May 12, 2017). "We need to talk about the internet's fake ads problem". WIRED UK. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
- Marshall, Jack (May 16, 2013). "Content Marketing's Got a Quality Problem". Digiday. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
- "Taboola and Outbrain Said to be Discussing a Merger". Fortune. April 28, 2017. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
- Moses, Lucia (November 28, 2016). "'The underbelly of the internet': How content ad networks fund fake news". Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Elkin, Tobi. "Taboola Takes On Fake News Furor". MediaPost. Retrieved May 27, 2017.