What opportunities and challenges did you and/or Taboola identify at the start of 2018 and have things worked out as planned?
This year, we’ve focused on two key areas for our business: video and mobile.
- Taboola Feed and Video: We’ve seen just how powerful video is in engaging and connecting with users and even more so when it’s within an environment they are already familiar with — such as a feed on social networks. We created a similar experience for the open web through our infinite scrolling experience Taboola Feed. This year, we had amazing adoption and formed partnerships with major publishers all around the world including the Weather Company, Axel Springer’s BILD Group and Tribune Publishing.
- Mobile Devices: As our mission focuses on enriching people’s lives by helping them discover new and interesting content during their ‘moments of next,’ we also identified mobile screens as an innovative way to enrich consumers’ lives with premium publisher content. We officially rolled out Taboola News, our news curation offering that personalizes a feed of articles from our network of premium publishers directly on users’ mobile devices. We’ve partnered with major OEMs such as ZTE and vivo, Android mobile carriers and utility apps such as Via to make this goal a reality.
To what extent does AI/Machine Learning help content publishers and marketing teams?
Machine Learning allows both publishers and marketers to learn more advanced insights about their consumers to streamline efficiency. At Taboola, our engineers review over one billion daily user interactions to help them learn and iterate how to make our technology recommend the most personalized, interesting content.
As we look into the future, now with Deep Learning and AI technology, there is actually an opportunity to analyze tens of millions of pieces of content, products and videos, and choose the most relevant one. For CMOs and brands, this is a massive opportunity — as all brands in the world either want to be discovered for the first time, or have something they want to be rediscovered.
What was the most impactful lesson you learned from 2018? How do you plan to implement the lesson in 2019?
In the last few years, we’ve recognized the danger of the proliferation of fake news on the open web and have committed to fighting for more transparency in advertising to support quality journalism. This year specifically, I think we learned that it truly takes humans to solve human problems like fake news. After creating a dedicated content policy team, which manually reviews over a million campaigns in nine different languages every month, we’ve grown the team by 57 percent. We’re committed to combating this issue and will continue allocating additional resources to eradicate fake news from our network.
Which leaders in the industry do you closely work with? How do they help you stay close to the business actions?
We consider every company that we work with — digital properties and advertisers alike — as partners on our journey and we’re fortunate to have incredible partners globally. On the publisher side, we partner with premium leading publishers such as CNBC, NBC News, USA TODAY, BILD, Sankei, Huffington Post, Microsoft, Business Insider, The Independent and Le Figaro among many others. Globally, we are fortunate to work with over 10,000 advertisers as well and each partner is invaluable in keeping us close to what’s important in the industry.
One advice to all the CEOs and leaders in your community.
Adam leads Taboola’s business strategy, execution and development while maintaining the company’s unique culture of quantification and innovation. Prior to founding Taboola, Adam developed his analytical skills while serving as an officer in an elite mathematical unit of the Israeli National Security Agency for near 7 years (don’t ask, he can’t tell you).
Adam is an honored alum of the Israeli Defense Forces’ elite Mamram computer science training program, graduated first in his class at the Officers Academy of the IDF, and was recently named one of Israel’s top “30 under 30” business managers by TheMarker. Adam authors a column for Mediapost on the video industry and is a regular speaker for Steaming Media, NAB, NewTeeVee, ELEVATE, Meetup, The Israel Conference, MIT (Sloan) , Bloomberg West, and others
Taboola helps people find relevant content online, matching them with news stories, articles, blogs, videos, apps, products and other content they’re likely to want to explore.
How do we know what they’ll like? Using Machine-Learning algorithms, our technology analyzes hundreds of signals to capture exactly what kind of content is most likely to engage each individual. We do that more than 450 billion times a month for more than one billion unique users.
Since we opened our doors in 2006, we have grown to become the leading discovery platform on the open web, serving a combination of the world’s best brands and the most respected global publishers. Taboola is headquartered in New York City with local offices in Los Angeles, London, Tel Aviv, New Delhi, Bangkok, São Paulo, Beijing, Shanghai, Istanbul, Seoul, Sydney and Tokyo.