Reid Tatoris, Co-Founder of “Are You a Human?” on His Method of Human Verification

Reid Tatoris2468 Reid Tatoris is the Co-Founder of “Are You a Human?”, a company dedicated to improving the way websites verify that their users are human, rather than bots. Are You a Human just announced plans to broadly launch their PlayThru service as a replacement option to the mostly used CAPTCHA method of human verification. The Makegood recently spoke with Reid about his company, plans, and future.

 The Makegood: You Co-Founded Are You a Human in 2011. Can you take a minute to look back and recount how you got from the idea phase to today’s fully functioning and successful company?

My co-founder Tyler got the idea when a co-worker was buying Hannah Montana tickets for his daughter.  They sold out in something like 3 minutes, and found out later that hackers had gotten through the CAPTCHA and bought up all of the tickets to sell on the secondary market.  He realized that CAPTCHA is a tool that doesn’t work, and that everyone hates.  When we started, our first goal was proving PlayThru is a better solution than CAPTCHA.  Through tons of testing, we proved that.  98% of people prefer it to CAPTCHA, and we increase conversion rates by 40-60% over CAPTCHA. Step two was scaling the publisher side of the business.  We spent about a year doing that and are now live on more than 6,000 sites and serve more than 100M games a month.  Step three was proving we work as a better ad unit.  Again, we tested and show a 98% completion rate, 300% increase in brand lift, and a 30% increase in brand favorability.  Now we’re working on scaling the advertiser side of the equation.

The Makegood: You just announced plans to broadly launch PlayThru. Can you tell our readers about this service? Howis it being used? What is the best way to use it?

As  mentioned, we’re live on more than 6,000 websites and serve 100M games a month.  For advertisers, we’re a way to get 8 seconds of guaranteed engagement with a real live human being for every dollar spent.  No one else can do that.  We’re being used by brands like Ford to drive unique, purposeful engagement from consumers.  What we do best for brands is get customers to remember their brands in a POSITIVE light.  What other advertising are people thankful to see?

The Makegood: What goes in to planning these games? How do you make sure that users are entertained every time?

We work closely with agencies to design the games, but we can do them ourselves based on existing assets from campaigns.  We’ve done mounds of user testing, so we know how to keep people engaged, but also not waste their time.  The key is to give them a tradeoff.  The engage with a brand, we give them a better experience, and some of their time back.

The Makegood: Fraud is a big problem in the industry that your company helps solve. How else can Are You a Human help cut down on advertising fraud?

Studies show up to 40% of all traffic on the internet is bot traffic.  The core of what we do is use our algorithm to determine if interaction is human or not.  With PlayThru, there is zero fraud, and zero accidental interaction.  Beyond that, brands can pixel users who engage with us and retarget those same proven humans with other campaigns.  We can make every other part of your campaign (banners, video, etc) more impactful by allowing you to target only real human beings

The Makeood: PlayThru looks like the first step away from CAPTCHA. How do you see your services evolving as you gain more and more clients?

Our goal is to turn online annoyances into delightful experiences.  CAPTCHA was step one but there are tons of other annoyances that we’re in the process of using our games to get rid of.

The Makegood: Thank you, Reid


  • Devin Green

    Cool idea, but I think Solve Media dominates the category. Games are just not secure