Taboola

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Taboola, Inc.
IndustryAdvertising
Founded2007
FounderAdam Singolda
Headquarters,
Number of locations
14
Key people
Adam Singolda, CEO
ProductsTaboola Feed, Taboola Newsroom
Revenue>$1 billion (2018)[1]
Number of employees
1,000+ (2018)[2]
Websitetaboola.com

Taboola is a private advertising company headquartered in New York City. It is mostly known for their chumbox ads.[3]

The company was founded in 2007. It provides advertisements such as "Around the Web" and "Recommended For You" boxes at the bottom of many online news articles.

History[edit]

Taboola was founded in 2007[4] by Adam Singolda.[5] The company was founded in Israel[6] and initially provided a recommendation engine for video content.[4] The company headquarters were later moved to New York City.[7] Taboola raised $1.5 million in funding in November 2007.[8] This was followed by $4.5 million in November 2008, and $9 million in August 2011.[9] Additionally, Taboola raised $15 million in February 2013.[10] By 2019, Taboola was used to provide 450 billion recommendations on a monthly basis,[11] due to adoption by major news websites, like the IBM-owned The Weather Company.[12]

In 2014, Taboola acquired a California-based programmatic advertising company called Perfect Market.[13] In February 2015, Taboola raised $117 million in a Series E funding round.[14] In May of that year, Taboola announced an additional funding from Baidu for an undisclosed amount.[15] In July 2016, Taboola acquired ConvertMedia, a recommendation engine for video content.[16] Terms of the deal were not disclosed.[16] In January 2017, Taboola acquired a website personalization firm called Commerce Sciences, for an undisclosed sum.[17] 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.[17]

In October 2019, Taboola announced its intention to merge with its rival, Outbrain, subject to regulatory approval.[18] The aim of this merger was for the two companies to reach a bigger audience in order to be more competitive against the advertising activities of companies like Google and Facebook.[19]

In September 2020, Taboola and Outbrain ceased merger discussions and carry on as independent organisations.[20][21][22] In July 2020, Taboola changed from revenue guarantee to revenue share model which resulted in major clients such as Fox News and UK's News Corp leaving, which compromised the ability of Taboola to obtain new financing that was part of the original merger agreement.[23] The combined valuation of the called off merger would have been $2 billion.[20]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Leadership[edit]

Taboola is managed by CEO and Founder Adam Singolda. Other key executives are:[24]

  • Eldad Maniv, President, COO
  • David Aber, CFO
  • Lior Golan, CTO

Products / business model[edit]

Taboola's Facebook-like scrollable feed

Taboola creates the "Around The Web" and "Recommended For You" boxes at the bottom of many webpages.[15] Additionally, it can recommend video content[25] or user-generated content.[15] Taboola is used by content publishers to encourage users to view more articles on the same site, or to gain revenues for referral traffic.[26] Marketers and brands bid for views of their content.[27] 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.[8] The most popular ad categories on Taboola are finance and fitness.[28] Taboola also has tools for publishers to remove offensive content and vet ads before they are displayed.[29]

Taboola provides approximately 450 billion article recommendations each month.[11] It is implemented on a website with a line of Javascript.[8] The Taboola Choice feature, which was introduced in 2013, added the ability for users to filter out recommendations they do not want to see.[30] An API for mobile apps was added that December.[31] Taboola started working on extending more features to mobile devices, user-generated content, and apps in 2015.[15] In 2017, the company added a Facebook-like scrollable feed of links to articles and videos.[32][33]

Reception[edit]

An article in Fortune said much of the content recommended by Taboola is "the worst of the Web."[5] 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”.[34] According to Fortune, "Popular content isn’t always good content."[28] In May of 2013, Taboola founder Singolda said the ads help support a sustainable business model for journalism and the company vets ads before they are displayed.[35] In 2016, Taboola was criticized for running an ad called "Meet the Women Making Rape Jokes That Are Actually Funny” alongside an article about teenage rape.[36]

Critics argue that services like Taboola are used for clickbait or fake news.[37] An analysis conducted by ChangeAdvertising in September 2016 found 26 percent of sponsored links on services like Outbrain and Taboola were clickbait.[34] The Taboola widget appeared on a fake news story claiming Muslim nurses were refusing to wash their hands before surgery at hospitals in the United Kingdom.[38] 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.[39]

In May 2014, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) requested that Taboola make it more clear that its recommended links are sponsored by advertisers.[28] 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.[28] Taboola argued it was not an advertiser and its disclosures were clear, but agreed to make the disclosure more prominent.[28]

In the following years, to tackle the brand safety issue for marketers, Taboola has made a series of investments: it has employed more than 40 people to monitor 30+ languages – committed to reviewing more than 1 million pieces of content on a monthly basis to ensure brand safety – and established strong partnerships with IAB, Moat, TAG, Integral Ad Science, and Double Verify to address the issue.[40]

See also[edit]

  • Chum box, type of advert often used by Taboola

References[edit]

  1. ^ Joe Mandese (March 7, 2018). "Taboola Project's 1 billion".
  2. ^ blogtaboola (2 January 2019). "2018 Year in Review and Our Future with Mobile Operators, Riding Apps, Airports, Voice & Autonomous Cars". Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  3. ^ Hsu, Tiffany (2019-10-06). "You Will Be Shocked by This Article (Published 2019)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  4. ^ a b Lawler, Ryan. "Taboola Raises $15M More to Fund International Expansion". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Taboola and Outbrain are battling a bad reputation (and each other)". Fortune. August 18, 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  6. ^ "Taboola and Outbrain Said to be Discussing a Merger". Fortune. April 28, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  7. ^ Carthy, Roi (August 25, 2010). "Taboola Turbo Charges Revision3's Video Uplift by 90%". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c Deleon, Nicholas (November 14, 2007). "Taboola Lands $1.5 Million, Powers Video Discovery". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  9. ^ Kincaid, Jason (August 25, 2011). "Taboola Raises $9 Million To Power Video Recommendations Across The Web". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  10. ^ Wauters, Robin (2013-02-19). "Content Recommendation Specialist Taboola Raises $15 Million". The Next Web. Retrieved 2016-05-16.
  11. ^ a b Wauters, Robin. "why Taboola". Taboola Help Centre. Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  12. ^ "WEATHER CO. GOES ALL-IN ON 'TABOOLA FEED,' A FACEBOOK NEWSFEED CLONE". AdAge. Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  13. ^ Griffith, Erin (April 8, 2014). "Taboola acquires Perfect Market, expands into programmatic ads". Fortune. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  14. ^ Griffith, Erin (February 4, 2015). "Taboola raises $117 million". Fortune. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  15. ^ a b c d Catherine, Shu (May 18, 2015). "Baidu, China's Leading Search Engine, Makes Strategic Investment In Content Recommendation Platform Taboola". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  16. ^ a b Lunden, Ingrid (July 26, 2016). "Taboola steps up in video, buys ConvertMedia for shy of $100M". TechCrunch. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  17. ^ a b Marshall, Jack (January 4, 2017). "Taboola Acquires Website Personalization Specialist Commerce Sciences". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  18. ^ "Taboola and Outbrain Are One". Taboola Press Release. 2019-10-03. Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  19. ^ Lunden, Ingrid. "Publisher adtech startups Taboola and Outbrain merge in $850M deal to take on Google and Facebook". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  20. ^ a b "Taboola and Outbrain call off their $850M merger". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  21. ^ Graham, Megan (2020-09-08). "Taboola and Outbrain end talks to merge after nearly a year". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-09-29.
  22. ^ Haggin, Patience (2020-09-13). "How the Tie-Up of Clickbait Giants Taboola and Outbrain Unraveled". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-09-29.
  23. ^ Schiff, Allison (September 8, 2020). "The Taboola/Outbrain Merger Is Off – Here's Why". AdExchanger. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  24. ^ "Management". Taboola.com. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  25. ^ Lawler, Ryan (January 18, 2013). "After Growing Revenue 750% In 2012 And Conquering Video, Taboola Goes After Article Recommendations". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  26. ^ Richards, Katie. "Website Recommendation Company Taboola Says It's On Pace To Do $250 Million In Revenue". Business Insider. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  27. ^ Grant, Rebecca (February 19, 2013). "Taboola spices up video advertising with $15M". VentureBeat. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  28. ^ a b c d e Davis, Wendy (May 20, 2014). "Better Business Bureau Tells Taboola To Make 'Sponsored Content' Disclosures More Prominent". Media Post. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  29. ^ Maheshwari, Sapna; Herrman, John (October 30, 2016). "Publishers Are Rethinking Those 'Around the Web' Ads". The New York Times. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  30. ^ Lawler, Ryan. "Taboola Now Lets You Filter Out Content Recommendations That You Don't Want To See". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  31. ^ Lawler, Ryan (December 19, 2013). "Taboola Launches An API To Bring Its Content Recommendations To Native Mobile Apps". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  32. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (May 23, 2017). "Taboola intros Facebook-style 'news feed' to target mobile users with more links". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  33. ^ Cerullo, Megan (May 24, 2017). "Daily News partners with Taboola to add endless scroll to website". NY Daily News. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  34. ^ a b Temperton, James (May 12, 2017). "We need to talk about the internet's fake ads problem". WIRED UK. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  35. ^ Marshall, Jack (May 16, 2013). "Content Marketing's Got a Quality Problem". Digiday. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  36. ^ Maheshwari, Sapna; Herrman, John (2016-10-30). "Publishers Are Rethinking Those 'Around the Web' Ads". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  37. ^ "Taboola and Outbrain Said to be Discussing a Merger". Fortune. April 28, 2017. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  38. ^ Moses, Lucia (November 28, 2016). "'The underbelly of the internet': How content ad networks fund fake news". Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  39. ^ Elkin, Tobi. "Taboola Takes On Fake News Furor". MediaPost. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  40. ^ "Challenging Walled Gardens: Q&A with Adam Singolda, CEO, Taboola". ExchangeWire. 2018-07-17. Retrieved 2019-11-13.

External links[edit]