IAB Releases A New Overview Of In-Feed Ads

The Interactive Advertising Bureau just released its “deep dive” into the world of in-feed ads — namely, the ads that show up in the middle of the stream as you scroll through your favorite news site or social network.

The report is meant to supplement the IAB’s Native Advertising playbook, which the trade group released at the end of 2013. Prepared by task force groups that included representatives from InMobi, Sharethrough, Yahoo and other digital media companies, this new report doesn’t say anything particularly controversial (unless you hate the fact that in-feed ads exist at all, I guess).

Instead, it provides a general overview of the types of in-feed ads that exist right now and some of the less obnoxious ways to implement them.

The IAB breaks down in-feed ads in two ways — based on the ad itself (whether it’s a story ad pointing to written content, a video ad, an app install ad or a product ad), and on the type of feed (content, social or product) where the ad appears. In each case, the report offers some samples to show how the ad could look and what happens when a user clicks or taps on it — the IAB says these examples “are not meant to prescriptive but rather representative of the range that is commonly used today.”

So what is the organization actually recommending? Well, it emphasizes the importance of disclosure, with language that’s “large and visible,” making it clear that the ad has been paid for. And it concludes:

Just because an advertiser can place any type of in-feed ad on any type of feed site, doesn’t necessarily mean that they should. To meet advertiser’s goals within the aspiration of native (form, function, integration), advertisers should respect the consumer expectation on an individual publisher site and publishers should consider rejecting ad types that do not meet their consumer expectations relative to surrounding editorial content.

And yes, we’ve run some in-feed ads here at TechCrunch. I don’t think the editorial team is exactly thrilled about the move, but if it’s going to happen, it’s certainly better to have clear guidelines about how those ads should look and behave.

You can read the full “deep dive” here.

IAB In-Feed Inforgaphic - landscape (online)