Taboola, a service that recommends digital content to website users, partnered with Chinese smartphone maker ZTE on a news personalization service for users of Android mobile devices. The partnership marks the first time that ZTE will use a personalized news aggregator to drive engagement and revenue, per a statement.
The service initially will only have links to news and lifestyle stories from some existing publishing partners, although the company may eventually expand to include paid links from content marketers, Taboola CEO Adam Singolda said, per The Wall Street Journal. Taboola also wants to partner with other smartphone makers and mobile service providers on content deals.
USA Today, HuffPost, Business Insider and MSN are among Tabool’s publishing partners, but the company declined to disclose which ones will be featured in the new mobile effort with ZTE.
Taboola is entering a crowded space for news aggregator apps for Android devices, but the partnership with ZTE means that its service comes preinstalled on ZTE devices as part of its operating system, per Martech Today. Also, Taboola’s service will direct readers to publisher websites, unlike services that render stories within an app.
Taboola is pitching its news aggregation service as a publisher-friendly Android version of Apple News, the app that comes preinstalled on the company’s mobile devices. Unlike Apple News, Taboola’s news module isn’t contained in a stand-alone app, and instead will show articles on smartphone lock screens when people use their phones after a period of inactivity. Taboola plans to release a companion module that will show users recommended articles when they swipe right on their phones.
The ZTE feature also will differ from Apple News by sending readers directly to publishers’ websites. That gives publishers more control over ad sales and the relationship with readers. Publishers have complained that Apple News doesn’t allow them to fully monetize audiences, but the iPhone maker has started to loosen the reigns for how publishers sell subscriptions within the iOS ecosystem.