Content Taboola Storiescohenadweek: Taboola, a company that helps content publishers increase revenue through targeted ads, has announced the beta release of their Stories product. Designed to match readers’ mobile habits, Taboola Stories is being seen as an answer to the shrinking attention span of mobile users and a possible new way for publishers to monetize unpaid articles.
“The format is all about taking advantage of time-shifted reading,” says Taboola founder and CEO Adam Singolda. “It’s what people are doing with their phones now. It’s completely natural, especially when you’re reading an article on your phone.”
Stories are currently only accessible through the publisher dashboard. Taboola lets publishers place a story, or “ad unit” as they’re called, directly within the content itself. Users can then tap through and access the ad, like they would any other promoted article on their site. Readers have the ability to click that ad to visit that site and view its content.
Taboola is starting with a few digital-first publishers – including Refinery29, Mic, and Vox Media – but it will be rolling out Stories to larger organizations like USA Today and many others over the next couple of months. Taboola has also partnered with Google AMP to allow publishers that have implemented AMP to take advantage of Stories as well.
Singolda says that Taboola is about “taking publishers’ content and making it more accessible and more engaging for users.” “Stories is another way to capitalize on untapped demand,” he adds. “Publishers haven’t made the most of their mobile audiences.”
Singolda believes that Stories is one of Taboola’s biggest launches because it addresses user behavior on mobile, which is where Taboola’s current focus is. “It’s an important moment for the company,” says Singolda. “We are defining the UI for how people will consume content in 2017. That’s the focus for us now.”
One way that Taboola is trying to reach users is through their algorithm, called the Distilled Audience system. This algorithm tries to predict what a user will do on a site based on what they’ve already done in the past. For Taboola, that means looking at whether users tend to read stories instead of articles and then choosing where they should be directed during certain times of day.
Singolda says they’ve already been able to demonstrate the efficacy of their algorithm by comparing the CPM and click-through rates of campaigns that have been designed around the algorithm versus those with traditional methods. “We’ve proved what we’re doing,” he says. “And we’ve done it [for] three months so far.”
Taboola will be rolling out Stories to more publishers over the next six months, ramping up its reach with bigger publications in time for the holidays. “Targeting is the most important thing; it’s what our platform offers,” says Singolda. “It’s the best way to go to market.”