Some of us in the digital advertising world have been pounding the drum of native for a while now, so it is refreshing to see the term taking off among the broader advertising and technology audience. In fact, for some in our industry, the term is starting to feel like a “Call Me Maybe” or “PSY” video: its simply everywhere.
In a recent post on The Awl, reporter Choire Sicha talked about the ongoing evolution to a native web. Sicha gives a very thoughtful analysis about the potential revenue streams for the next wave of publishing platforms, like Branch and Medium, whose sites are currently clean and devoid of all advertising. These sites have gone so far as to cut out anything that makes them feel like a money making operation (no words like revenue, profit, etc.), which begs the question of how these pretty sites will monetize. For Choire, it is not a question of how they will monetize (hint, native), it is about how they will keep native advertising relevant and engaging and not disrupt the user experience.
In addition, GigaOm also discussed the growing native web, specifically the growth of streams as the #1 avenue to share and consume content. Because streams are, by nature, a way to discover content, interrupting banners or pop-ups are much less effective than ever before. Now, when a user comes across an interruption they will either skip it, ignore it, or leave the location where that interruption happened. To reach this increasingly savvy, stream-using base of individuals, it is imperative to be where they are, which is…you guessed it, in-stream.
In other news, there has been a growing focus on native advertising within the mobile environment. In fact, The Makegood featured two articles last week that discussed this very topic. With Twitter recently announcing that the majority of their ad revenue comes from mobile, it makes sense that many in the advertising industry would want to take a much deeper look at their mobile monetization strategies. With more publishers perfecting their mobile platforms, there is now a much greater opportunity for advertisers to think more creatively (and natively) about how to fit seamlessly into the users mobile experience. One thing these articles make clear: Full screen takeovers are not the way to go.
Lastly, Facebook continues to stay front and center for both positive and negative reasons. On one hand, Facebook’s launch of “Sponsored Results”, which appear when you search for a person, page, or event, is another step in the native direction. Also, with another ad product to offer, Facebook can show Wall Street that it is exploring new revenue streams (while also keep their anti-banner users happy). However, the pressure from Wall Street has also caused Facebook to roll out an ad-product that Mark Zuckerberg swore against, it is called a “Logged Out” ad. Basically a gigantic banner that now appears when a user logs out of Facebook. With Facebook’s ad strategy a white hot topic for Wall Street and their shareholders, there’s never been a bigger spotlight on native advertising.
As always, let us know if we missed anything! Enjoy the articles.
Your Sharethrough Team
TheAwl- The Pretty New Web and The Future of “Native” Advertising
Choire Sicha dives into the wonderful new web, which is less cluttered with banners and is more focused on content discovery. However, this brings up a larger discussion about native advertising. Not whether it will actually be the future of digital advertising, but what exactly it will look like when it does take over.
GigaOm - What happens to advertising in a world of streams?
So since we are now accustomed to taking in content in the forms of a stream (Twitter, our favorite blogs, Facebook), what does that mean for native advertising? While it is clear that in-stream advertising is ideal, how do we make those advertisements appeal to users? This article explores those questions and asks many others.
Dashes - Stop Publishing Web Pages
Entrepreneur, Anil Dash, tackles the stream conversation as well by outlining ways in which to organize sites other than the typical webpage layout. He sets up a real life example that goes like this: When you are searching through your Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest streams, you are incredibly engaged with almost everything taking place within that stream. However, when you click on an outside link you are almost immediately thrown into a site that is stressful, cumbersome, and probably makes it difficult for you to consumer the content you clicked on the link for. Hmm, interesting thought and something to think about when creating a publisher site or an application.
The Makegood – Is Native Advertising the Saviour of Mobile for Publishers and Marketers?
While first setting out to bash mobile banner ads, this contributor takes a more open approach by exploring ways in which mobile ads can work. I cannot sum up this article better than how it already concludes, ”If the last five years has taught us anything about mobile, it’s that we can’t do things the old way any more. The post advertising era has arrived. It’s time to get native.
The Makegood - Another Post on Mobile Ads
This article does a great job at outlining what native SHOULD look like on mobile. Obviously, it should not be a full screen take over or a value exchange feature, but a truly native experience that lets the user discover the video on their own.
TechCrunch – Facebook Officially Launches “Sponsored Results” Search Ads
Facebook has launched yet another native ad unit. This product lets advertisers target users searching for specific items by including their own page or custom tab at the top of the results. While its not yet possible for businesses to link off-site yet, that is an interesting feature that may eventually find its way into the product.
CNET – Bigger ads, Bigger Bucks? Facebook Feels Wall Street Heat
According to this article, it looks like Facebook has jumped into the banner game as well as the native game. While this article also discusses Facebook’s new strategy for creating native mobile ads, the biggest newsmaker is the gigantic “Logged Out” ads that now appear. How will this hybrid model work for Facebook and will this move into banners expand into mobile as well? If so, how? These are all questions to keep in mind over the next few months.