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Something’s really happening with the mobile industry. Yes, some of you have noticed… it’s been a couple years. Thank you Apple for kicking this space, and for raising the bar ever since… But there’s more. It’s a multi-billion dollar wake-up call…

“Native”, we first heard this term when Apple introduced the App Store in the summer of 2008. The App Store featured downloadable apps, also known as “mobile native apps” (versus “mobile web apps”). The main benefits of a native app? Optimized, fast, leveraging all the hardware features, designed specifically for the device, and distributed by the App Store, with a proper economic model.

But let’s focus on the strengths of native apps: fast, smooth, pixel perfect, raising the bar in terms of UI and UX, leaving comparable mobile web apps in the dust (the gap is narrowing, but it remains a fact to date).

Native apps is where the game is. It’s where the passion and the budgets go (as we approach the holiday season, cost per install easily ranges between $2 and $5!). And the bar is high, very high. Publishers that manage to garner a large audience can generate serious revenue streams, with paid apps, freemium, or via advertising.

The oddity is that advertising, one of three acceptable ways to generate an income as a publisher, has been largely non-native. It is a figment of the web 1.0 era, typically sanctioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (iab) with its “Creative Guidelines”. These older, prehistoric ad units, have been transposed almost untouched, powered by first movers like AdMob (Google) and Quattro-now-iAd (Apple)… polluting up to 20% of our small screens. Some wind of change perhaps, the iab and the FTC are apparently waking up to the fact that things are now different and that the one-size-fits-all won’t cut it; oh and they tentatively tried to define what native means!

Yes, the banner is native… on the web.
No, on a smartphone, inside a native app, it’s not.
Our recent post “Mobile ads suck. What’s next?” made it fairly explicit: banners are largely part of the problem.

This is why we call for the death of the banner, while at the same time calling all developers and publishers to join us and raise the bar, embrace and embed new native advertising technology. We believe that, up until today, a lot independent developers who have been reluctant to implement advertising in their app (for good reasons) will now start to consider it.

Native comes from “Nativus” in Latin. It means a number of things, including a new beginning, natural, innate.

Hence, this is our mission. To create and innovate with native ad units that feel natural, respectful of the developer’s work, respectful of the native UX, respectful of the user, transparent in the implementation, fun instead of dull, animated instead of static. The native ad unit is dynamically optimised according to device and screen size, connectivity, context and timing. No less.

Now, to be clear, Appsfire is an app discovery & app promotion company. In this post, we only focus on app promotion from the sell side & monetisation angle. But don’t get mistaken, brand advertising needs to evolve and raise the bar as well. The same logic applies.

So, how do we tackle this? Quite simple. Look at the app lifecycle below; we’ll innovate where there is a gaping hole or where existing solutions aren’t raising the bar, either by being dull, static or not granular enough!

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Quite simply, we’re in the business of raising the bar, focus on future high-performance and highly integrated formats, shuffling where the puck will be. See our view of the mobile ad world below…

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Some of it is available TODAY! First we introduced our snappy, animated and native interstitial, available today for iOS. We call this first unit the “sushi” ad unit. It’s a classic interstitial, it works, it’s performance oriented, and already sooo much better than the banner! Relatively non-intrusive, easy to dismiss, fully disclosed, best at launch or between game levels. Want to integrate it? Get started on appsfire.com

Next, we moved along the app lifecycle to introduce an ad unit that is unlike any other, we call it the “uramaki”. Like magic, we’re releasing white space where there is none, preserving the host app’s integrity to its fullest, not touching a single of its pixels; this one is best used at the end of the sessions or around user idle time. In fact, it’s so novel, you have to be a true innovator to be able to cope with it. Here’s to the crazy ones! So for now, we’re keeping under wraps, for select beta testers. You want in? You have  an app with an Appsfire App Score greater than 65? Three ways to participate: join us for our breakfast of champions this Monday Dec 9th, meet us at LeWeb from Dec 10th to Dec 12th or send your motivational email to contact@appsfire.com!

We’re so excited that we will offer a one-day global promotion for the best integration of this ad unit by January 15th. So hurry up, you have about a month!

Over the near term, we will deliver a few more formats, some of which are visible on the above timeline… hint: the Japanese menu theme remains! You’ll hear from us soon.