Ad Network SDK woes

Friday, April 01, 2011
By: Jim Payne

“F*** it. I’ve had enough messing about with SDKs. Taking code in and out. Blah blah blah.” – Steven, BenderApp

Recently Google and AdMob launched their combined SDK, one of the first steps of a lengthy integration that I know my former colleagues are undertaking. Interestingly, the new Google+AdMob SDK broke a compatibility with another Google property, AdWhirl. Based on the forums , many AdWhirl users were thrown into limbo, waiting on new code before they could push out a new update. Even after fixing this particular problem, there are even more issues with incompatible libraries from other networks.

What a mess!

While we applaud AdWhirl for their philosophy of open source code to minimize integration hassle, it is no longer reasonable to expect that every single application developer has to include many third party binaries into his or her app. On top of this, with every update of XCode or iOS or Android, something inevitably will go wrong.

This is a fundamentally flawed model. As a developer, you  should not have to worry about which ad network’s code works in which version of the OS you are compiling. This should all be completely transparent, flexible. On the web, integrating a new ad network is as simple as dropping in a line or two of javascript. Shouldn’t it be as easy as this for mobile application developers?

Ad networks play a vital piece of this new mobile movement, but their respective SDKs do not. In fact, most major networks already have a server-side and javascript APIs. Enabling a new ad network does not need to mean another integration nightmare, it can all be done on the fly with a simple checkbox, never touching your code.

Add or remove as many networks as you want without ever touching your code.

At MoPub, we want making money on mobile to be as easy and fruitful as possible. The way we start this is by creating the easiest to use mobile ads tools: No SDKs, just some basic client code and a really smart server.

We’ve already integrated with most of the major ad networks, but if you are working with one that we don’t yet support let us know and we can integrate server-to-server very, very quickly.

If you have any other thoughts on how we can make your lives easier, give us a shout.

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