A form of advertising that is so tightly interwoven within the site it’s being promoted on that customers can’t tell that it’s advertising.
Pop quiz: Can you spot the native advertising on BuzzFeed’s homepage?
If you answered “all of it,” you’d be exactly right. The entire front page, seemingly devoted to Instagrammers you should be following, actually is a huge advertisement for Samsung cameras. Surprised? Shocked? Amused? Betrayed?
All of these emotions are felt by viewers when they realize they’ve been fed advertising in what they thought was an article purely devoted to entertainment or getting more out of a photography hobby.
Native ads don’t yet have a clear definition, but at their simplest, they are a form of advertising that is so tightly interwoven within the site it’s being promoted on that customers can’t tell that it’s advertising. Different technologies have tried to paint native ads under names like sponsored listings, promoted posts, or online advertorials, but there are some definite differences....