Native ads best practices for app publishers

June 28, 2019

Tags: 2019, Publishers

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Natalie Breitbach
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Getting the most out of your native ads on MoPub Marketplace

With MoPub’s native ads, mobile app publishers control the format of the ads themselves. As a publisher monetizing apps through mediation or MoPub Marketplace, you are required to follow these guidelines when you build your own ad format.

Native ads are native to your app’s content format. Instead of giving you a banner or fullscreen image, the creative consists of a number of components that are sent to your app, which the app lays out itself.

For direct-sold ads, publishers can define additional fields that are sent down to the client as well.

Please see our integration instructions for iOS and Android on how to integrate these native ads into your app.

1. Mark ads clearly

MoPub requires that ads are clearly distinguished from the rest of your app’s content. You must include clearly visible text that reads “Promoted,” “Sponsored,” “Ad,” or a localized version thereof.

2. Include at least the title and image or icon

Your ad format must contain at least the title and the native ad’s image or icon. Beyond those two required elements, we suggest incorporating as many of the native elements as appropriate in the context of what the rest of your app looks like. Giving the user more information helps them decide whether they want to click on the ad.

3. Don’t distort or modify components

When advertisers buy ads on Marketplace, they expect that their ad creative is accurately represented. You can scale images and icons down, but beyond that, do not distort or modify this creative:

  • The title provided by the advertiser can be up to 50 characters long. Do not shorten this title. You may convert it to uppercase if appropriate for your design.
  • The text provided by the advertiser can be up to 150 characters. Do not shorten this text. You may not convert it to uppercase.
  • The CTA text provided by the advertiser can be up to 15 characters. Do not shorten this text. You may not convert it to uppercase.
  • The image provided by the advertiser will be a minimum of 800x417 px or greater in size. You may scale down this image to fit your ad format down to 300×157 px while maintaining the aspect ratio of W/H=1.91. You may not crop the image or change the aspect ratio.
  • The icon provided by the advertiser is 80 x 80 pixels or greater (with the same ratio) in size. You may scale down this image to fit your ad format while maintaining the aspect ratio of W/H=1. You may not crop the image or change the aspect ratio.
4. Don’t Overlap

When advertisers buy ads on Marketplace, they expect that images they provide don’t overlap with other elements.

5. Display the Privacy Information Icon

In line with new industry self-regulatory guidance provided by the DAA, MoPub now requires all native ads to display the privacy information icon and click region. The icon must be at least 20x20px and can be placed in any one of the four corners of the ad.

6. Use AdPlacer with Location Control

Using AdPlacer on iOS or MoPubAdAdapter on Android lets you control the location of your ads after the app has been deployed. While these helper classes do not work for highly custom native ads implementations, they are optimized for apps with news, social, and message streams in which ads are interspersed with content. They are easy to integrate and also pre-cache ads so that you don’t make too many ad requests, and the user’s scrolling is responsive.

For more details, go to the Native Ads Location Control page.

7. Test your integration with a direct campaign

The MoPub Marketplace will not always return an ad, so the easiest way to test your integration is with a direct campaign. Once you’re ready for launch, turn off the direct campaign and target the MoPub Marketplace at your native ad unit.

If you don’t want to configure this direct campaign yourself, we have set up an ad unit ID with sample ads: 76a3fefaced247959582d2d2df6f4757


Native ads with MoPub Marketplace deliver great results for publisher and advertiser alike. We require that publishers follow these guidelines so that ads are clearly marked and creative elements are properly displayed, and advertisers can be confident they are buying valuable ad space.


1. When is an impression fired for native ads?
  • Impressions for native ads are fired and counted when 1 pixel of the ad is on screen.
2. Does AdPlacer expire ads?
  • Yes, it discards ads older than 4 hours. Important Note: 4 hour expiration should also be followed if using manual native integration.
3. Why is my fill rate so low with AdPlacer?
  • Fill rate with AdPlacer could be low due to ad positions being too far down in your app’s newsfeed that users do not reach them. Check to make sure impressions are firing properly when ads come into view.
4. Do you support the star rating asset in Marketplace native ads?
  • Star rating is not currently supported in MoPub Marketplace ads at this time.
5. Do you provide support for the star rating asset from mediated ad networks?
  • Yes, star rating is available for some SDK mediated networks. You’ll need to check with the specific network to know if it is supported.
6. iOS: How do I configure strong positions if I have multiple sections in my TableView?
  • Ad placement for multiple sections can be configured in the UI by stating in the section number followed by the position number. Two sections for example would look like: 1.2, 1.4, 1.7, 2.2, 2.4, 2.7
7. Can I use AdPlacer for a carousel setup?
  • No, carousel style is not supported with our AdPlacer yet.
8. What is the maximum number of characters I can use for the title, description and CTA assets?
  • For MoPub MPX demand the maximum number of characters allowed for the title is 25, description is 100, and CTA is 15 characters.  Note: An ellipses can be added _ after _ 99 characters, as the 100th character.  For SDK mediated networks the maximum limits are set by the network itself.

Looking for more? For technical information, be sure to visit our Publisher Documentation. You can also learn more about in-app advertising formats.

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