Outbrain Snaps Up Scribit Adding Curated Content to Bag of Tricks

12/14/12Follow @jpruth

New York-based online content recommendation company Outbrain is busy sharpening its tools once again as competition mounts in its sector. Earlier this week Outbrain announced it acquired Scribit, an Atlanta-based developer of a platform for curating online content. This is the latest deal for Outbrain, which back in February 2011 acquired the technology and assets of rival Surphace from AOL.

The acquisition of Scribit puts Outbrain in another, yet related, segment. Scribit’s platform lets brands curate content from publishers and feature it on their sites. Gilad de Vries, senior vice president of strategy with Outbrain, says the latest deal may help his company increase its presence in the content market strategies of more brands and publishers. Outbrain’s recommendation platform is used by publishers such as The New York Times and Mashable.

De Vries downplayed the effects of the recent expulsion of customers who slipped content onto Outbrain’s platform that did not meet his company’s standards. “People assumed we were going to take a revenue hit because of the higher stance on quality that we took but it wasn’t the case and doesn’t look like it’s going to be the case moving forward,” he says.

Content discovery is growing increasingly competitive as rivals such as three-year-old nRelate, also in New York, maneuver for more territory and opportunities. In July, nRelate was acquired by question-and-answer site Ask.com, which is owned by media and Internet conglomerate IAC in New York.

Outbrain’s long-term plans for Scribit are still being hashed out but don’t expect to see a sudden migration of staff to New York. “The Scribit team is staying in Atlanta and we are planning to grow the team there,” De Vries says.

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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