Native advertising have been much discussed in the media, publishing, technology and advertising landscape for some time now.
When I think of native advertising I think about Google’s adwords, or Twitter’s promoted tweets. There are plenty of other examples but these feel like great examples.
These ad products provide a number of benefits.
They fit the form and function of the service. They aren’t jarring to to the user experience. Todays non native ads are just brutal. They are taking it’s toll on our open web and mobile experience. It’s no wonder ad blockers are on the rise.
Native ads share attributes and user experiences of the main product. For example, hitting the fav or like button on a promoted post is the same gesture and same behavior as a regular post.
Ideally native ads have the opportunity to make the product better.
The other clear benefit is speed and function. The native ad is owned, operated and hosted with the application provider. As a result there is no load time variance with the introduction of native advertising. Your Google search results aren’t demonstrably slower with or without search ads on the right rail. The same is true with your Instagram feed.
But the thing most often overlooked when it comes to the best forms of native advertising is why it exists in the first place.
It would have been easy to stick a huge IAB standard banner ad on Google’s homepage in the early days. It would have been easy for Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram to stick huge display ads on their website.
But none of those companies made the “easy” choice. They didn’t take the short cut. Every ounce of sales, product and engineering muscle with native advertising development comes with a profound love for soul of the product, care for the community and respect for the user.
So the next time you see a company avoiding the easy money and experimenting with native advertising, give them the same respect they are giving you.
I have seen it first hand behind the scenes. It comes from the right place.