Feeds

eBay slurps Hunch to match ads with shoppers

Hoping 'Taste Graph' will suit customers’ palates

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

eBay has bought data-mining firm Hunch in a move to increase the effectiveness of personally targeted ads on the online auction house’s sales site.

Hutch was set up in 2009 by Chris Dixon, Tom Pinckney, and Matt Gatti, and uses a mixture of data mining and predictive modeling to build individual “Taste Graphs” of personalized suggestions for adverts. The company will continue to operate as a stand-alone unit based in New York, but will provide ad support for eBay’s marketplace in an attempt to boost revenues.

“We are engaging consumers in innovative ways and attracting top technologists to shape the future of commerce,” said eBay's chief technology officer for global products and marketplaces Mark Carges in a statement. “With Hunch, we’re adding new capabilities to personalizing the shopping experience on eBay to the individual relevant tastes and interests of our customers.”

In the last two years, Hunch has been gaining interest for its predictive algorithms that analyze customers’ online patterns and make advertising-placement suggestions based on their activities. It mines online marketplaces, social media pages, and direct questionnaires from users to build profiles. Hutch has said that all existing customers’ data is covered by its current privacy policy, and people who wish to remove their information from company servers can do so by visiting their web site.

“We were struck by the incredible opportunity to put Hunch’s Taste Graph technology to work for one of the undisputed global leaders in ecommerce,” blogged Hutch cofounder Chris Dixon. “We were equally impressed with the caliber of the people we met at eBay. They share not only our passions for creativity, innovation, and technology, but also our commitments to privacy, user respect, and data transparency.”

The purchase will hopefully revive eBay’s e-commerce portal, which has been suffering in competition with Amazon over recent years. The company is pushing for a major revamp in 2012, with an entirely new search engine (code-named Cassini) – Hunch’s engine could well be used in the new system. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.