There has been a lot of discussion about the merging of native advertising and programmatic buying since the launch of the Facebook Exchange (FBX) two years ago. With the creation of FBX, demand-side platforms (DSP) built support for creative metadata, such as headlines, thumbnails and the other categories that make up native ads. This was version 1 of programmatic native.
Seeing the success of FBX, Web publishers began hypothesizing about how they could bring the same native RTB capabilities to their sites and applications outside of Facebook. With the IAB closing in on the ratification of OpenRTB 2.3, which will add native capabilities to the standard programmatic process, we are closer to version 2 then ever before.
But before we get there, let’s examine three current myths regarding the merger of native and real-time bidding.
Myth #1) Native RTB has arrived. While multiple platforms have experimented with custom solutions to merge RTB capabilities with automated native ad delivery, there is currently no standard that all publishers and platforms can utilize. FBX offers the ability to programmatically buy native ads at scale on Facebook, but this solution does not offer a standard that open Web publishers can adopt.
Standardization for Native RTB is coming very soon. The IAB is now in the final stages of completing the OpenRTB 2.3 spec, which for the first time will include support for native ads. This draft is currently going through final IAB comment and approval process. Over the next three months, you can expect to see a feverish level of activity between native technology players to push through integrations with DSPs to truly bring Native RTB to the industry at scale.