Outbrain Evolves Outbrain for Chat to Deliver the Smartest Experience, a Look How

|Colin Doody

We obsess about powering the smartest content discovery experience, one that improves the way users discover content, and enables our partners to extend the experience everywhere. Over the last several years those experiences have evolved, shifted, and grown. From desktop to mobile, mobile to native apps, and more recently into Messaging platforms with the launch of Outbrain for Chat.

Within all those shifts, our core mission remains the same — help readers discover content they can trust to be interesting, relevant and timely. In this post, I want to focus less on “Why” messaging (enough have covered its growing scale, here, here, and also here) and more on the value behind discovery, the functionality behind our Outbrain for Chat platform and “How” we’re evolving our platform to deliver on our obsession.

Discovery keeps us informed and entertained. It requires little effort, only interest. It drives our curiosity as we pick up our favorite newspaper, and thumb through a magazine on the newsstand. It’s the opposite of Search, but equally powerful and important. Ever noticed that button next to Google Search? It’s that. It’s what you do when you’re curious…


Except Discovery is more than just “feeling lucky.” We think there’s an art and a science behind it, we think luck can be informed, that serendipity can be intelligent.

Let’s take a deeper look at how we’re trying to bring Discovery into the Messaging space with Outbrain for Chat.  

To start, we think editorial decisions and algorithms can sit side-by-side, complementing one another. With Outbrain for Chat, we want to empower the newsroom by creating channels to program essential features and enable their voice. Within each of the Chatbots we power, you’ll see a variety of editorial scripts programmed by Editors. Scripts like Top Stories or Editor’s Picks, to mainstay editorial features like Sky News’ Sky Views, to upcoming Film Reviews and Box Office results programmed by the team at Variety.


We surface recommendations based on different signals using insights across the Outbrain platform to provide an experience that users can frequent regularly — and rely on to stay informed and entertained.

At the core of the platform is a user’s interests learned over time as the user interacts with the experience.

Just for You/Discover are recommendations based on those interests, but not necessarily limited to them, after all, we’re aiming for a smart discovery experience, not a silo. An important facet of the platform enables us to define what’s trending or popular around the web, and specifically within different locations. Our Latest News feature surfaces content that’s recent and popular.

Want to see the latest news within a specific category, stay up to date on everything about Politics, Technology, or Entertainment? What about a specific topic of interest, the latest on Kanye West or Donald Trump, or your favorite sports team? We want to provide a continuous discovery path, allowing you to scope recommendations by all of the above by surfacing recommended Categories or Trending Topics.


We’re also introducing a few new functionalities that we’re excited about:

Stash or Save if you see a story you want to read later.

Summary if you want a quick highlight before committing time to read the full article.

Like any story and we’ll get smarter on what to recommend next.

We’re excited about the kinds of content experience we can bring you through Messenger. And we’re excited to partner with some of the world’s best Publishers:

Interested in Business and Finance?

One stop shop for everything Celebrity

The Latest Music News and Reviews

Essential News from the UK and Around the World

News and Analysis covering the World of Show Business

#GoThere for the most talked about stories in the News

Colin Doody

Colin Doody

Colin Doody is GM Strategic Initiatives at Outbrain. Colin works on our innovation team, identifying and developing new product initiatives.... Read more

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