Most people know Taboola as the content recommendation engine behind sites such as The Huffington Post and Time magazine. But now Taboola is making some news of its own, reaching more U.S. desktop users in September than Facebook, Outbrain, and Google Sites like YouTube, according to comScore.
ComScore only indexed reach in terms of impressions--how many people saw links powered by Taboola, not how many clicked through. Still Taboola's 86.2 percent reach is impressive for the seven-year-old company, which got its start recommending videos online. "I think what it says is there may be a new advertising category called personalization," says chief executive and founder Adam Singolda. "People have been talking about it, and now that comScore is putting this report out there, it's real."
The takeaway for similar startups, he says, is that "if you want to get scale and be in front of most U.S. audiences, this is a real channel to try." According to Singolda, 70 percent of U.S. desktop users have clicked on a Taboola recommendation this month. But it isn't without competitors, as tech giants like Yahoo and Facebook have gradually moved into the space. Yahoo Gemini launched in February this year, and Facebook has offered a similar advertising option for some time.
Launched in Tel Aviv and now headquartered in New York, Taboola studies how people interact on the Web, to predict and surface content those visitors are likely to be interested in. Publishers and brands pay to distribute their content through Taboola, and drive audiences to their site. Taboola started by recommending videos but now it also suggests slideshows and articles. And if the company has its way, it will find more outlets to recommend things you might like. "We might go into apps, trips, social pages," and so on, Singolda says of Taboola's 10-year growth plan. "Think of all the things that you and I are searching for on Google."
Taboola has had a busy summer, partnering with Yahoo! JAPAN to expand its global reach, acquiring Perfect Market, a programmatic ad company, and being named the fastest-growing tech company in Israel by Deloitte. According to Singolda, the company serves more than 150 billion recommendations to more than 400 million unique visitors each month.