Zite CEO Mark Johnson Calls for Increased Personalization

Mark Johnson recently took over as the CEO of Zite, a personalized news magazine app that delivers news stories tailored to users’ interests. According to Zite, “Mark has been an advisor to Zite for almost two years and was instrumental in our pivot from Worio to Zite. He brings a strong product and technology background with experience at several successful search startups: Powerset (natural language search, acquired by Microsoft), Kosmix (categorized search, acquired by Walmart), and SideStep (travel search, acquired by Kayak). Most recently, he led product at Bing in San Francisco. We’re really excited to have him leading the team to help change the way people discover and browse content.”

Johnson is of the opinion that the web is outgrowing the current capabilities of search: “As the amount of information online continues to expand at its breathtaking pace -- there are over 140 million tweets posted to Twitter each day, and over 48 hours of video uploaded to YouTube a minute -- people will need new tools to help them wade through the deluge of data, he says. ‘The web is getting too big for search,’ Johnson told The Huffington Post. ‘It’s going to be harder and harder to find information because there’s so much out there.’”

The article continues, Johnson “suggests personalization may be the solution to this information overload online. Though content that is customized for a particular individuals’ preferences can be chosen and presented in a variety of ways, in Zite’s case, the stories that appear on its news reader are based on signals pulled from social networking sites like Twitter, as well as Google Reader and browsing behavior.”

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Image: Courtesy Zite