Video recommendations company Taboola is giving its publishers more control over the videos served up in its widgets as well as the ability to change the user interface. To provide more customizable recommendations, Taboola has rolled out a new set of editorial-friendly tools. To highlight these changes and to take advantage of them, Taboola just launched a revamped website and added new members to its senior management team.
Taboola makes it possible to add widgets to a site that showcase context-relevant video files. This enables publishers like the New York Times or Hearst Television that have large stores of video and web pages to automatically display relevant video files without having to hand select them for each new story.
But Taboola has found some of its clients want more control over the videos that appear, so the company has created new editorial capabilities to refine recommended videos. This includes the ability to promote a video ID or meta-tag, enabling publishers, for instance, to promote a video for a certain period of time. Customers can also configure the tool to promote different types of videos depending on their placement. One example of this would be enabling them to set recommendations so viewers only see videos from the last few days on a site’s homepage. Finally, publishers can remove videos that they don’t want to promote for whatever reason.
The tools are designed to create a better user experience for readers and video viewers, possibly by surfacing newer videos and more editorially curated selections. But because providing a better user experience doesn’t always jibe with showing the video a viewer is most likely to click on, these changes could affect click-through rates for publishers and provide Taboola with an even bigger algorithmic challenge, CEO Adam Singolda wrote to us by email.
“Instead of working on improving our CTRs [click-through rates], we now need to be even better algorithmically as we are offering publishers editorial-friendly tools that allow them to adjust our system in real-time, which could potentially decrease CTR,” he wrote.
In addition to its new editorial tools, Taboola has added new members to its senior management team. It’s added Yarden Tadmor as chief revenue officer and Ira Silberstein as its SVP of client services. Prior to Taboola, Tadmor was SVP at Dapper, which was acquired by Yahoo for $85 million , and also CEO of LiveKick. Silberstein, meanwhile, was VP of product at the New York Times before joining Taboola. The startup also added David Noy, former head of Product at MetaCafe to be its VP of Product.