Social discovery service MeetMe is ramping up the advertising in its smartphone app.
CEO Geoff Cook told me via email that the app was already running ads, for example at the top of the screen, but its mobile monetization efforts have been more focused on payments. The new ads, which are being introduced through a partnership with Flurry, will appear in the Live Stream, offering a more “native” approach, Cook said: “This is the first time we are placing ads within the context of the application itself, where the user encounters advertising while scrolling. The ads look and feel more like content with social cues like ratings and comments surfaced.”
A lot of companies are talking about native ads nowadays, and the format can be particularly important in a mobile context, where there’s not a lot of screen space for extra banners. For example, the screenshot below will probably remind you of the ads in Facebook’s mobile news feed. (I’ve also written about a startup called Namo Media, which is all about introducing native ads into news feeds.)
When I asked how MeetMe’s approach differs from Facebook’s, Cook said:
While I think today our native feed advertising solution is inspired by Facebook’s in many ways, I expect it to evolve differently in 2 key ways. First, we will be launching incented app-install feed advertising units in the next few months, leveraging the strength of MeetMe credits. MeetMe credits have helped make MeetMe one of the top-grossing social apps on both iPhone and Android, and our users clearly demand them.
Also, we don’t view these native units as limited to being placed in the Feed. We view them as contextual units and may expand them, with some UI changes, to other popular areas of the app where the user scrolls the mobile screen like our Photoboard and Messages.
MeetMe says its live feed is now seeing 2 million posts per day.