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Sharethrough Launches A Native Ad Leaderboard To Highlight The Sponsored Content That’s Most Shared

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Sharethrough, a startup that’s focused on native advertising (a topic that CEO Dan Greenberg has discussed in several TechCrunch guest columns), is launching a new way to browse the most popular native ads.

The Native Advertising Leaderboard is based on information that’s publicly available through the APIs of various social platforms, Greenberg said — it turns that data into “a daily news feed for anyone (brands/agencies/pubs/editors) who wants to keep their finger on the pulse of the native advertising and brand content movement.” Basically, it looks at the feeds of sponsored content from sites like BuzzFeed, Mashable, and Forbes, and ranks that content based on how much it has been shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks.

The leaderboard was created in partnership with SimpleReach, and it also allows visitors to filter the results based on brand, publisher or industry — so you can see what’s working in your particular arena, or which of your competitors seems to be having the most success.

Looking at the leaderboard this morning, it’s dominated by BuzzFeed. In general, Greenberg said BuzzFeed gets the most sharing on Facebook and StumbleUpon, but things get more competitive when you look at other networks.

“You can also see some smaller publications doing great native advertising work with major brands – for example, Apartment Therapy is one of the top drivers of sponsored posts when sorted by sharing on Pinterest,” he said.

When Greenberg showed me the leaderboard last week, he said it was actually created for internal use, and he was still deciding whether it should be made publicly available. (I told him yes — so hey, nice work taking my advice, Dan.)  The idea has some similarities with Sharethrough.tv, the company’s database of online brand videos. Greenberg is making the announcement today in conjunction with Sharethrough’s Native Advertising Summit in New York.

If the launch of the new leaderboard seems to suggest that Sharethrough is now looking beyond its initial focus on video, well, that’s correct. Earlier this week it announced a new Sponsored Stories ad unit, which allows advertisers to promote any linked content in a native format — for example, advertising that’s part of the stream of posts on a blog (albeit labeled as sponsored content). Greenberg compared it to buying ads to promote content on Facebook or Twitter, except on editorial sites rather than social networks.