You're probably familiar with Taboola, at least in passing. It's the source of many sponsored news sections on websites. Now, Taboola is looking to become part of your smartphone with its new "content discovery" platform. It looks a lot like the Google Feed, but it's not. In fact, it could come off like one giant ad on your phone.

Taboola pitches its news feed as a way to get personalized news. Instead of searching for content, you just swipe over to the Taboola screen on your device and start browsing. However, there's a direct profit motive here. According to Taboola, the feed is designed to provide a revenue stream to OEMs, carriers, and Taboola's premium publisher partners. If this is just the click-bait articles you get at the bottom of articles (sorry) in feed form, then users won't take kindly. Taboola will also push lock screen notifications, which could get very spammy.

Typical Taboola stuff

ZTE is the first to partner with Taboola. It's unclear which devices from ZTE will ship with the Taboola feed. It sounds like a service to increase margins on budget phones, but for all we know, ZTE will ship Taboola on all its devices. We've reached out to see if there are any details on ZTE's end. Whatever the intention here, I'd wager most users would prefer to just have the Google Feed instead.

Press Release

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Taboola, the leading discovery platform, announced it will partner with both mobile carriers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to power content discovery on Android mobile devices. Taboola has partnered with ZTE, a leading mobile device manufacturer, to roll out its offering that creates a new revenue stream for the OEM while simultaneously opening a new audience source for Taboola’s premium publisher partners.

The partnership marks the first time that ZTE, one of the world’s top ten smartphone manufacturers, will utilize a personalized content news aggregator to drive engagement and revenue. Taboola’s mobile capabilities will help OEMs and carriers expand margins and engage with their users in a relevant and meaningful way.

“We create our devices to enable rich experiences that will engage users. From the moment a user wakes their phone, they are looking to engage with something and we want that experience to be personalized and tailored for each user wherever they may be in their day,” said ZTE’s spokesperson. “At the same time, Taboola's compliance with EU's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) make it one of the providers to maintain the highest standard for both user experience and privacy protection, which is exactly what ZTE is looking for."

Taboola, which acts as a search engine in reverse, is able to use its personalization technology to match users with content they are most likely to be interested in consuming next, now on mobile devices.

“I believe the next generation will not look for things, and instead, will live in a world where content, videos and news will be waiting at their fingertips - looking for people. It’s our mission to power Discovery for consumers and curate these experiences so they are tailored for each person,” said Adam Singolda, founder and CEO, Taboola. “We are very excited to partner with ZTE on driving innovation around the next wave of personalization on smartphones. This partnership will open a new channel of Discovery for audiences as well as empower quality publishers and journalism to reach new people at a very unique moment on their mobile devices, when they are most open to consuming content.”