Native Advertising Insights

Research, Infographics and Resources

Native Advertising

The Official Definition

na·tive ad·ver·tis·ing

n. Native advertising is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed.


Native ads match the visual design of the experience they live within, and look and feel like natural content.


Native ads must behave consistently with the native user experience, and function just like natural content.

Leading Media Companies Monetize Their Content Feeds with Native Ads

Companies that monetize with native ads.

The largest social platforms in the world monetize with native, in-feed ads, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. The publishing industry is quickly following suit, as companies such as Time Inc, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today, continue to introduce new advertising integrations on desktop and mobile that match both the form & function of their editorial feeds.

Types of Native Ad Integrations

The IAB Native Advertising Task Force (co-chaired by Sharethrough CEO Dan Greenberg) established six core native ad formats.

The Role of Sponsored Content

Sometimes referred to as advertorials or even native ads, leading publishers have launched sponsored content studios to create content on behalf of brands. Publishers include venerable media brands such as Time Inc, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and The Guardian, as well as new media companies like Buzzfeed, Thought Catalog, Slate and many others. To keep up with the best performing sponsored content, check out the Sponsored Content Leaderboard.

Why Go Native?

People See Them

25% more consumers were measured to look at in-feed, native ad placements more than standard banners.

Viewed as Editorial

Consumers looked at native ads 2% more than editorial content and spent the same number of seconds viewing.

Mobile Branding

97% of mobile media buyers report that native ads were very or somewhat effective at achieving branding goals.

Purchase Drivers

Native ads registered 18% higher lift in purchase intent than banner ads.

Research & Reports

Sharethrough's proprietary research examines monetization and content marketing effectiveness and the digital advertising trends of the future.

The Science Behind Native Advertising

A Neuroscience Perspective

Using neuroscience and eyetracking technology, Sharethrough and Nielsen studied how consumers visually process mobile ads. This first-of-its-kind research delivers new insights on visual attention in mobile feeds and how to maximize the impression value from mobile native ads.

Product Guides

Programmatic Native Guide

Making Sense of Programmatic Native

An Industry Guide to OpenRTB 2.3

OpenRTB 2.3, a collection of advertising recommendations from the International Advertising Bureau, sets a standard for how native ads can be bought and sold through a real-time auction. With new support for native advertising, the OpenRTB 2.3 API and OpenRTB Dynamic Native Ads API provide a common language so developers can support the scaling of native ads.


A good infographic is worth a thousand words. Check out these data visualizations using data from our platform and our research.

Native Ad Examples

Native Ad Generator

The Native Ad Generator is an interactive tool that transforms any content url into a native ad. Visit site »

Additional Resources

Sponsored Content Leaderboard

Browse the top sponsored editorial content ranked by sharing across social channels. Visit site »

Native Advertising Summit

The marquee conference for leading publishers, platforms, and brands to discuss the future of native advertising and content marketing. Visit site »

Meaningful Content Fund

Learn how our philanthropic venture is helping storytelling evolve by putting paid distribution dollars behind the web’s best stories. Visit site »

About Sharethrough

Sharethrough is a software company that powers in-feed “native” ad placements for brands and publishers. The Sharethrough Advertising Exchange (STX) is the world’s largest in-feed advertising exchange and enables Fortune 1000 brands to drive engagement towards their brand content on premium websites. Top media companies partner with Sharethrough to create, manage, and monetize in-feed ads across all connected devices. Founded in 2008, Sharethrough is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in New York, London, Chicago and Los Angeles.