- The Interactive Advertising Bureau updated its viewability specification for in-app ads, giving marketers the ability to make one kind of ad that can run on multiple apps without technical glitches, according to a blog post by the organization. Advertisers will be able to learn what percentage of an ad appears on-screen in an app with the update. The bureau previously had no standard for viewability in-app advertisements, AdAge reported.
- The Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions (MRAID) update will provide more details about viewability, audio and ad load times and also set a new standard for the clearer exit buttons. With the new standard, advertisers will be able to learn whether volume on a video ad is high enough for users to hear and ensure that users have the option to close an ad.
- The guidelines also aim to improve map data for better personalized location-based ads.
An established standard for in-app ad viewability has been debated for more than three years, and it's encouraging that the IAB has published its third update to MRAID after gathering comments and feedback from the advertising and mobile technology communities, including companies like comScore, Nielsen and Google, among many others.
Ideally, the new standard will improve the viewer experience, making smartphone users more amenable to seeing and engaging with in-app ads. As the IAB notes, apps often try to display ads before they've loaded properly, giving consumers a white screen or empty space until the image renders. The bureau now says apps need to load ads when they're about to appear on-screen instead of waiting until consumers scroll down to reach them, which could likely lead to a more positive user experience.
Another major benefit for marketers will be improved viewability metrics to help determine whether their messages are being seen and heard by mobile users. Brands can adjust their ads to add captions, for example, if they learn that most users engage with a certain type of ad with their volume off. Marketers can also make adjustments to campaigns in real time as they measure audience response and conversion with more granular detail surrounding viewability with the new, more uniform reporting and measurement standards by the IAB.