ZTE's Killer New Phone Feature: Built-in Clickbait
"Remember the 'Feral Kid' From Mad Max? Take a Deep Breath Before You..."
"Cheryl Ladd? Try Not to Smile When You See Her Now."
"Here's why guys are obsessed with this underwear."
If you're wondering how you can get this kind of awesome content delivered directly to your phone and have it be just a swipe away at all times, we have great news.
Taboola, one of the foremost peddlers of clickbait on the web, has partnered with ZTE to "power content discovery on mobile devices," according to a press release. (Android Authority first spotted this news.) The motive is clear. ZTE will be able to make money by bundling a personalized news aggregator on its devices.
For its part, a ZTE spokesperson said that it wants to "enable rich experiences that will engage users. From the moment a user wakes their phone, they are looking to engage with something and we want that experience to be personalized and tailored for each user wherever they may be in their day."
As TechRadar points out, this concept is similar to HTC's BlinkFeed newsfeed feature from back in the day. You access the content widget by swiping right on your phone's screen. There, you'll be greeted with headlines but also products you may want to buy. It also sounds a bit like the ads Amazon was putting on its Prime phones, a practice it has since discontinued.
Another screenshot shared by Taboola shows that you'll be able to get notifications on your lock screen, though it looks like it will be tailored to your tastes. So, if you're a sports fan, you might see headlines about your favorite teams.Credit: Taboola
To be fair to Taboola, the personalization aspect of its service could make it feel less seedy, but the company does have a reputation for presenting the most sensationalized headlines on the web, typically found in content widgets at the bottom of web pages.
It's also worth noting that Tom's Guide uses a similar content aggregator called Revcontent, which offers very similar headlines and images to Taboola. But there's a big difference between stumbling upon a widget at the bottom of an article you've already read and putting that experience front and center on your phone.
ZTE has not yet announced which handsets will get this feature, but we'll be sure to check it out once it becomes available.