AOL is teaming up with Taboola to take on Facebook’s ‘walled garden’

AOL Running Man
The classic AOL ‘yellow man’ Flickr / Travis Wise

Many publishers are worried that their content is becoming overly reliant on distribution from sites like Facebook and Twitter.

That’s why AOL announced on Tuesday that it will partner with Taboola to share content between all the brands under the AOL umbrella, including:, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, AutoBlog, AOL Mail and MapQuest.

“We’re entering a new era where social platforms are growing to become very powerful, asking users to consume content within their closed ecosystems and never leave,” said Taboola CEO Adam Singolda. “This is a long-term risk to journalism as we know it and publishers’ underlying business.”

Taboola makes widgets that recommend 300 million pages to 750 million unique visitors every month. It is used by many online publishers including USA Today and Business Insider. Taboola has worked with AOL since 2013, but the deal expands its reach to all the “premium brands” under the AOL umbrella.

AOL expects to take an equity share in Taboola as part of a long-term strategy for collaboration, the company said in a press release. The two companies will also collaborate on new data initiatives.

“Beyond the traditional native advertising business, this is a strategic partnership with a big and long term vision to solve together some of the publisher issues around off-network consumption of content,” said Jimmy Maymann, EVP and President at AOL.

Chief marketing officer of AOL, Allie Kline, recently spoke about a disconnect between the parent company and all the brands that are part of it. This deal could help address the problem.

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