Taboola Plans To Boost Regional Language News Discovery In India


The US-based advertising and ‘content generation’ engine, Taboola has announced to expand its roots in India to meet the increasing content discovery demand here. Taboola is a private advertising company based out of New York City. It provides advertisements such as the “Around the Web” and “Recommended For You”. The company was established in 2007. It had raised more than $157 million by 2015.

Taboola partners with publishers, advertisers, and mobile carriers to help them reach their target audience online. It claims to reach 1.4 billion users globally with one billion unique users every month. It has announced to open their new offices in Gurugram, Mumbai with 80 employees.

In India, Delhi leads the Taboola chart for monthly views with 12 Mn followers followed by Bengaluru and Mumbai with 8.7 Mn and 7.3 Mn respectively. The New-York based advertising company entered the Indian market 6 years ago and now it has developed very strong relationships with almost all top notch publishers and media houses.

Taboola making a stronger grip in India

The company recently signed a massive five-year, INR 300 Cr deal with NDTV. “The five-year deal ties NDTV Convergence exclusively to Taboola and involves a minimum guarantee of more than INR 300 Cr for NDTV Convergence, making it one of the largest deals not just for digital content but for the media space in its entirety,” the news of this tie-up had sent NDTV’s stock soaring by as much as 10%. Apart from this Taboola has also partnered with Indian Express, The Hindu, Zee Media, NDTV, India Group, Times Now, and ABP. Not only this, but it has also partnered with OEMs (original equipment manufacturers are those who resell another company’s product under their own name and branding) like Sony, Vaio, Huawei to drive personalized news and content from its network of publishers to users of their devices.

Taboola is an amalgamation of content aggregation, digital advertising, and analytics-driven by a large number of sets of user data which it has compiled over the years.

India is seeing an increase in demand for vernacular content. According to a KPMG-Google study, by 2021, an expected 201 Mn Hindi users — 38% of the Indian internet user base — will be online. The same report informed that the growth of vernacular language user base is growing with a much faster momentum at a CAGR of 18% to reach 536 Mn by 2021 as compared to the English user base, which is growing at only 3% CAGR annually and will reach 199Mn by 2021.

India has been at the apex when it comes to the peril of fake or false news with people losing their lives over tittle-tattle spread via WhatsApp. The problem is not restricted only to social media and messaging platforms but extends to news websites too. But wouldn’t it be easier to have a greater reliance on AI and automatically detect enraging content rather than scanning it manually? Technology can be used to auto-detect the images and title but manual checks or the traditional way of keeping checks cannot be ignored either.

Taboola currently has 50-100 people sitting in Israel who go through the content on the platform and each one of them is given a designated language.

“We work with only the premium publishers who are serious about the news business and are into serious journalism, unlike crowd-sourced network and so that helps”  – Gomti Shankar, country manager, Taboola India.

The company runs its own news service called Taboola Feed, a social media-inspired, curated content feed that lets users scroll through a list of articles. It is curated by both AI and human moderators. Companies such as Taboola have been taking note of this trend and are trying to take steps to make sure their recommendations are pertinent to their users with the application of AI, machine learning, and by manual checks as well. Quality over quantity is preferred hence, it is really important to filter the spam with the utilization of modern technologies.

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