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How Machine Learning Is Helping Flipboard Flip Passion Into Profit


The legacy of fake information has created renewed demand for dependable online information distribution. That Is where Flipboard, one of the crucial first digital information curators, is Discovering a niche.

Launched in 2010, the Palo Alto-primarily based news aggregator provides a digital magazine-model content platform that it claims is used by greater than A Hundred million people each and every month. Flipboard expects to hit profitability in 2018, a consequence The Company says, of connecting hundreds of thousands of individuals to publishers—a excessive share of whom are prosperous (and human) audiences that advertisers crave.


Courtesy of Flipboard

Flipboard is depending on cloud applications and Advert tech analytics to make sure the content material from its advertisers and publishers is being Learn With The Aid Of actual individuals.

Very Similar To faux information has driven a wedge between publishers and their audiences, the specter of pretend Traffic—readership numbers inflated By Using bots—has led to a trouble of self assurance among advertisers towards publishers. As An Instance, shopper Products giant Procter & Gamble lower its digital promotion finances With The Aid Of $140 million earlier this year, citing fake Traffic driven Via bots and having its advertisements positioned subsequent to fake or otherwise objectionable content material, according to trade trade publication Adweek

 To reverse this backlash, Flipboard is using artificial intelligence and Computing Device Finding Out to deepen its prognosis of common information topics, and counting on human curators to tell the difference between a valid breaking information story and anecdotal diagnosis.

The Corporate is also depending on cloud functions and Ad tech analytics to ensure the content from its advertisers and publishers is being Read Via actual individuals, slightly than non-human bots sneaking in from automated browsers and search engine spiders. With The Aid Of the use of “bot blocking off” know-how, Flipboard claims it has lower than 1% non-human Visitors on its platform; significantly less than most websites which reasonable 52% bot Site Visitors, consistent with the 2016 Bot Visitors Document With The Aid Of cybersecurity firm, Incapsula.

Regardless Of these efforts, it has taken time for some publishers to warm up to Flipboard’s platform and for advertisers to really feel at ease investing in it. “We had dedicated sales teams educating brands, agencies, and advertisers about the deserves of merging print-like commercials right into a digital content material platform,” says Nicole McCormack, senior vp of income technique and operations At The firm.

As of June of this yr, Flipboard’s cell app has grown its referral Visitors to 1 million day-to-day web page views, making it the fourth most typical referrer at the back of Fb, Google Search, and Twitter, in keeping with digital publishing analytics company Parse.ly.

Tying Products to Passions

In Addition To combating the pretend news epidemic, Flipboard serves both readers and advertisers Via preventing undesirable content material from entering into entrance of its readers. The Company makes use of Machine-Learning algorithms that generate “probabilistic Knowledge sets” to tie publisher content material to shopper pursuits, after which establish digital ads that are contextually vital to that content material. “Persons Are really bored with being abused on the web with click on-bait and pre-roll that has no connection to them or what they’re doing in a selected moment,” says McCormack.

To McCormack, figuring out why people come to Flipboard is vital to understanding learn how to market to them. As An Example, “people come right here to research,” she says. “They use the platform to get better at their jobs, reinforce their well being, research extra about their favorite hobbies or explore new ones.”

“Now We Have teams of full-time editors and curators from all over the place the arena who authenticate news sources, scour issues, and find out about news tendencies in 26 totally different nations,” says Flipboard chief industry officer Cecily Mak.

To Help The Corporate fortify how it personalized content for its growing base of readers, Flipboard obtained Zite, a cellular media aggregator app, from CNN. Incorporating Zite’s hobby taxonomy, Flipboard created a proprietary database storing tens of lots of themes. Whereas advertisers can serve commercials against these topics, The Company not too long ago partnered with Oracle to curate audiences based no longer simply on similar interests but also demographics or behavior patterns.  Flipboard can then make these audiences on hand to advertisers and appeal to publishers with content material appealing to readers who share an identical traits.

“This was once a pivotal second for us,” says David Wigder, head of insights, efficiency, and Knowledge technique at Flipboard. The Information cloud platform captures actual-time information about what customers are studying, whether on the web, cellular or social systems, after which faucets into other Data sources with identical attributes. For Instance, “industry customers who are reading about expertise would possibly even be reserving trip from their laptops, reading cocktail recipes on their smartphones, or reviewing cars on Twitter,” Wigder says.

In [Quality] Knowledge We Belief

Mapping these pursuits to its writer’s content material is key to how Flipboard’s platform works. It’s additionally the key to serving to The Company better be aware the mind-set that the individuals on its platform are in once they see ads.

Flipboard makes use of Oracle MOAT, additionally a part of Oracle Data Cloud, to measure “reader engagement” past page views or clicks. For Example, MOAT captures the amount of display actual property an Advert takes up, in addition to how long the user dwells on that display.

Of Course, now not all advertisements are created or measured equally. Most online banner, button, or text commercials absorb a small fraction of an internet page, which makes it troublesome to determine whether consumers if truth be told noticed those commercials or unnoticed them. To mitigate this drawback, Flipboard principally displays advertisements that soak up a full reveal, which means that that each time readers “flips” to a brand new web page; they see a full-web page, journal-fashion Ad sooner than they are able to continue on to the subsequent web page. “MOAT helps us validate that buyers are if truth be told seeing the commercials and permits us to quantify how lengthy they’re viewing those commercials,” says Wigder.

Flipboard also uses MOAT to capture receptivity to video commercials. On The end of a clip, For Example, MOAT can determine whether or not the sound is turned on. If the audio is off, it’s unlikely that a shopper even looked at video.

“These are enormous quality metrics,” says Wigder. And Via the usage of Oracle Knowledge Cloud analytics to capture them, “we will show to publishers and advertisers that our platform can provide real, user engagement.”

To Flipboard, the way forward for information is a bright one, and the platform for consumer engagement is cellular. Findings from a Pew Research Center survey performed in March show that eight in ten U.S. adults favor to get information on a cell software (85%), in comparison with Seventy Two% only a 12 months ago. “Readers aren’t going to spend time switching from one information web page to some other on their phones,” says Wigder. “They’re going to need one platform that has it all. And to us, Flipboard is that platform.”

Sasha Banks-Louie is a model journalist for Oracle.



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