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More than Half of Social Media Ads Spending will go to Native In-stream Ads

(Posted on Jan 14, 2014 at 10:53AM )

One of the most effective ads in social media right now are native-social ads, ads that are incorporated within the social stream, like the ads that appear in Facebook’s News Feed.

In fact, native ads are gettings lots of shares and clicks and, in next to no time at all, it is expected that more than fifty percent of the social media ad spending will focus on native ads. A study conducted by BI Intelligence shows that among all social media sites, the ones that will find natural ads most valuable are the ones that focus on photo sharing, like Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram.

These three photo-sharing social media sites are indeed benefiting from their native ad strategies. Snapchat’s Stories, or snaps that last for a day, is not yet an advertising unit, but brands will soon be using it as a native marketing tool. Instagram already has a native ad unit, while Pinterest has Promoted Pins, or paid placements from selected retailers and businesses that would appear within Pinterest’s category feeds and search results.

Native in-stream ads are the most successful type of ads in social media sites,, and will continue to find success according to a study. (Image: thalo-mag (CC) via Flickr)

Native in-stream ads are the most successful type of ads in social media sites,, and will continue to find success according to a study. (Image: thalo-mag (CC) via Flickr)

The reason why photo-sharing social media sites benefit a lot from native ads is because photos are the most commonly shared form of media in the Internet.

How the Social Media report was conducted

The BI Intelligence report was conducted through interviews with experts in native advertising, comprising of specialists in social media analytics, social media networking investors, and chief advertising buyers.

It investigated the major advertisers and brands, making comparisons regarding their use of native ads and identifying their level of commitment with regards to using these types of ads. In addition, it also gives details as to why research firms were generally wrong in their estimation of the impact of native social ads.

The best native advertising formats were explored, like those of Facebook, and the researchers tried to determine how effectual native ads are on each social networking site. Native ads are so effective that, according to Jan Rezab, chief executive of Socialbakers, a social media analytics firm, “in the future, all advertising on social media will be native in-stream ads. The right rail and banners will disappear altogether.”

Why are Native Ads Effective?

There are several reasons why experts are so optimistic about native ads. In fact, according to Jed Williams, author of a forecast by BIA/Kelsey, forty percent of the 11 billion dollars on social ad spending by 2017 will go to native social ads.

Also, as previously mentioned, social media sites that are primarily focused on sharing photos benefit the most because photos are the most shared media online. In fact, a study shows that 43 percent of Internet users around the world have shared a photo in the past month. Online photo sharing enjoyed a boost with the advent of smart phones, as these devices, along with photo-sharing apps, have practically made sharing pictures online just a few clicks away.

One reason for the effectiveness of native in-streams is the way they look, feel and operate, and how these three perform so smoothly across desktop computers and mobile devices. This is exactly what brands are looking for because they want to deliver ads that work across all kinds of devices.

Promoted Tweets, a twitter native ad which has was already operating since 2010, is evidence that native social ads really work. As proof, Twitter is showing, more than any other social networking site that digital and television ad spending can work in close association. LinkedIn is now creating huge investments to come up with its own native ads strategy and Pinterest is also just beginning to use native in-stream ads with Promoted Pins.

By Aaron Elliott