Taboola makes more than 3 billion article and video suggestions daily, powering recommendations for a number of high-profile publishers like The Huffington Post, USA Today, and Weather.com. Now it’s letting users choose which kinds of content they see in the future with the launch of Taboola Choice.
Taboola’s recommendations are meant to boost readership on different sites by referring readers to different articles that they might enjoy. It also provides publishers an additional revenue stream by serving up recommendations from other outside publications that readers or viewers might click through.
It seems like a win-win-win, right? But not everyone’s crazy about the recommendations that it has to offer.
While Taboola’s algorithm is primed to offer stuff that it thinks you’ll click on, sometimes that means suggesting what you might think of as “lowest-common-denominator” type recommendations. Like Top 10 Slideshows Of Paris Hilton In A Bikini or Our Favorite Videos Of Celebrities Falling Down Stairs.
Taboola CEO Adam Singolda tells me that if you’re getting those types of recommendations, chances are it’s because you’ve clicked through on similar listicles or videos in the past. But in the case that you want to refine the suggestions it gives, the company is now giving readers the tools to do so.
With the launch of Taboola Choice, readers can now tell Taboola which content they don’t want to see recommended. It works like this: Whenever a user sees a Taboola recommendation, rather than click on it, they can mouseover and will see an “X” in the top right-hand corner. Click it, and the system will remove it and ask why you don’t want to see the content in question. Is it uninteresting, offensive, repetitive, or misleading? Choose one, and once you’ve given Taboola that feedback, it’ll take that choice into account the next time your cookie-base browser comes across the company’s recommendations widget.
Taboola Choice is an extension of editorial tools it had already been offering to publishers to allow them to refine the content suggestions that are seen on their sites. But now with user-based recommendations, their readers and viewers will be providing even more data and feedback into its system.
Taboola has raised $40 million from investors that include Pitango Venture Capital, Evergreen Venture Partners, WGI Group, Marker, and Eyal Gura. With its headquarters in New York City and R&D in Israel, the company is expanding quickly, staffing up offices in other international markets.