Gender and Interest Targeting for Sponsored Post Advertising at Tumblr

Aug 10, 2015

As one of the leading platforms for creative content, Tumblr offers advertisers a unique way of creating brand identity. Advertisers can tell their story through images, animation, text, music, video, and more, and can promote that content by sponsoring it to appear as an advertisement in the users' live feeds. In this paper, we present a framework that enabled two of the key targeted advertising components for Tumblr, gender and interest targeting. We describe the main challenges encountered during the development of the framework, which include the creation of a ground truth for training gender prediction models, as well as mapping Tumblr content to a predefined interest taxonomy. For purposes of inferring user interests, we propose a novel semi-supervised neural language model for categorization of Tumblr content (i.e., post tags and post keywords). The model was trained on a large-scale data set consisting of 6.8 billion user posts, with a very limited amount of categorized keywords, and was shown to have superior performance over the baseline approaches. We successfully deployed gender and interest targeting capability in Yahoo production systems, delivering inference for users that covers more than 90% of daily activities on Tumblr. Online performance results indicate advantages of the proposed approach, where we observed 20% increase in user engagement with sponsored posts in comparison to untargeted campaigns.

  • ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD 2015)
  • Conference/Workshop Paper