With sharks like Apple and Facebook closing in on its news-curation market, Flipboard is clearly feeling some pressure to show that it is a superior content platform. And one of the ways it is trying to do that is by pitching the value of its “interest graph” — in other words, the collective knowledge that it has about the things its users like.
As part of that pitch, Flipboard announced on Monday that it is opening up its interest graph to advertising partners. The new feature allows them to get a broader picture of what potential consumers are interested in, and to target ads towards them based on data from what the company calls its Topic Engine.
Interest graph targeting takes advantage of the insights that Flipboard has built up in its five years of serving readers, cofounder and CEO Mike McCue said in an interview before the launch. The app has more than 75m monthly users.
“We’re well known for what we do with content presentation, the design and the beauty,” McCue said. “Something we haven’t been as known for, but have invested heavily in, is the brain behind the product — to enable content to find its natural audience.”
The new feature also takes advantage of the analytical engine that Flipboard got when it acquired Zite, another news-curation app that the company bought last year from its owner CNN, McCue said.
“Zite really ramped up our ability to have more intelligence about how our users discover content,” McCue said. “We’ve built an interest graph where we understand the intricate relationship between users, content and interests on a pretty granular level.”
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