Home Mobile Are Native Ads Different From In-Feed Ads?

Are Native Ads Different From In-Feed Ads?


apples-and-orangesAs native advertising accelerates, the terminology lags behind. “Native” as a buzzword now encompasses a wide range of solutions  leading to confusion within the industry.

One debate is whether in-feed ads (ads inserted in between content) are by default native ads, and whether it should matter.

Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and AOL all offer in-feed ad units that they are calling native ads. In-feed ad units, however, are being lumped together with content marketing products as native ads, even though there are several differences, according to DistroScale co-founder and product marketing VP Stanley Wong.

Distroscale is a native ads startup founded a year ago by a trio of Glam Media veterans that offers a content-management system, ad server and marketplace to buy, format and distribute a brand’s content across websites, the mobile Web and apps.

“Content marketing is getting noisy with more companies coming in that mainly drive traffic (through in-feed ads), rather than distributing content in a way that truly matches a site’s content,” Wong said. “That distinction still needs to be made clearer.”

The problem is largely semantics. “Native” is one of the most confusing terms in mobile today, maintained Forrester Research analyst Jennifer Wise. “It takes on too many meanings,”said Wise, who noted that the term applies to apps that are supported on a mobile device; traditional sponsored messages inserted into an editorial product, as well as ads that match the look and feel of a site but may not offer relevant content.

The IAB tackled the definition of native ad units in a white paper, “The Native Advertising Playbook,” and noted that in-feed ads have the largest number of variations.

One way to address the variety of units is to look at certain characteristics. How well does the ad unit’s behavior and message match the surrounding content and does the ad function like other elements on the page (e.g., a video ad among videos) should be among the questions marketers ask, the IAB advised.

Whether in-feed ads should be distinguished from other native ads is also uncertain. “Native is in the eye of the beholder,” the IAB noted in its report. “And so is the buying and selling of it, reflecting the infinite variations in advertiser objectives.”

Must Read

Comic: Ad-ception

The New York Times And Instacart Integrate For Shoppable Recipes

The New York Times and Instacart are partnering for shoppable recipe videos.

Experian Enters The Third-Party Data Onboarding Business

Experian entered the third-party data onboarder market on Tuesday with a new product based on its Tapad acquisition.

Albertsons Takes Its First Steps Into Non-Endemic Advertising, Retail Media’s Next Frontier

Albertsons is taking that first step into non-endemic advertising next week via a partnership with Rokt to serve ads to people who have already purchased groceries.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters

Marketecture Buys AdTechGod (No, Really)

Marketecture has acquired AdTechGod – an anonymous ad tech Twitter poster turned one-man content studio – and the AdTech Forum, an information resource hosted by AdTechGod and Jeremy Bloom.

Why The False Advertising Lawsuit Against Poppi Is Bad News For RMNs

This week’s dispatch explores the new trend of false advertising class-action suits in the food and CPG industry and how the evolution of online, data-driven retail media could exacerbate the problem.

Seedtag Acquires Beachfront For Deeper Roots In TV And Streaming

Contextual ad platform Seedtag acquires Beachfront, a supply-side platform that specializes in TV and video.