Phorm introduces personalised web browsing

LONDON - Behavioural targeting specialist Phorm has launched a service called Webwise Discover that personalises users' website visits by highlighting content it recognises they are interested in.

Phorm said the service will be available in the UK by year end and the company is currently seeking partnerships with BT, Carphone Warehouse and Virgin Media. Phorm has been trialling Webwise Discover in Korea since May 21.

It is aimed at both consumers and website administrators, using technology based on its controversial behavioural targeting business.

From a web user's perspective, Webwise Discover appears as a small box on their screen which streams news stories, pictures, videos or sale offers.

It can automatically locate and present articles on their favourite sports team or celebrity on news sites.

In another example, people using a shopping website who have been browsing the web for a particular product will be automatically presented on arrival with relevant reviews or auctions for that item.

Web administrators can use the service to personalise their sites for individual users and to help users find content that would have gone unnoticed.

The service will be opt-in for users and will be offered for free by selected ISPs. Users can switch the service off and on at any time and Phorm said it is completely anonymous, keeping no record of browsing history or personal information.

Kent Ertugrul, CEO of Phorm, said Webwise Discover will "redefine" web browsing.

Ertugrul said: "The internet is changing, people want the web to reflect their interests. We will offer them a more intuitive experience, with personalised content and advertising, as well as inbuilt anti-phishing."