Starting with the early days of the web, articles featured on publishers site were curated and handpicked by editors to drive a unique editorial voice, not unlike in the offline media. Consumers had very limited channels to express what is interesting or uninteresting to them.
Consumers used to discover content primarily from the homepage where as over time, a “back door” was created in the form of search, social, link exchanges and content recommendation engines. As the industry evolved, and we experienced a “content creation boom”, sustaining a strong and important editorial voice while offering the right story to the right user – became a real challenge.
With increased visibility into content engagement metrics, such as sharing of articles, and the use of advanced predictive analytics, the online publishing world made a huge leap forward. Publishers were able to surface content that consumers were likely to take interest in, just at the right time.
Something was missing though. While it became easy to pinpoint articles that were immensely popular, there was still no way to capture consumers’ negative emotions , i.e. what types of content consumers disliked, and why.
At Taboola, our vision is of a truly personalized web. An endless world of content where consumers not only signal what interests them by engaging with content, but may also ask to not see certain types of content that they find offensive, repetitive or just uninteresting.
Choice of content is not only a boon for consumers. The data on what consumers dislike, and even more importantly, why, helps publishers make informed editorial decisions and offer readers a highly personalized experience.
To facilitate Choice, we are rolling out a new technology that lets consumers indicate what content they dislike and why. When they do, this type of content will never be recommended to them again across the Taboola publisher network. We also give publishers insight into consumers’ dislikes and let them choose what content will be recommended on their site. We believe this is a big step toward democratization of the web, enabled by a combination of a top-notch content recommendation platform, direct consumer feedback and closed-loop optimization.
We call it Taboola Choice.