Monetize your app with MoPub native ads

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Any mobile app developer can start monetizing their apps with MoPub’s recently announced native ads solution. The MoPub Native Ads solution is the only full-stack offering for developers. This means that you can run native ads from three different ad sources: direct advertisers with whom you already work, promotional ads for your other apps, and thousands of advertisers from MoPub Marketplace, which connects the developer’s app to thousands of third-party advertisers. In this post, we will describe how to start implementing native ads in your apps.

Native ads look and feel more natural to your app. And because the user experience is preserved, native ads can offer higher user engagement, and thus present a bigger opportunity for revenue.

There are five steps to implementing native ads in your app:

  1. Sign up for MoPub
  2. Create a native Ad Unit, Order, and Line Item
  3. Upload the creative for your native ad
  4. Implement the MoPub SDK (iOS and Android) in your apps
  5. Evaluate the performance of your native ads

Create an Ad Unit for your native ad

Typically, you will create one Ad Unit per type of ad you’d like to display in an app. For example, if you want to have a banner ad on one screen and a native ad in another, you’d create an Ad Unit for each type. You can create a new “native ad” Ad Unit in the MoPub UI. To do so, go to the Inventory tab in the MoPub dashboard, select your app, and select Add an Ad Unit. You’ll notice that Native is now an option in the Add Ad Unit dialog box.

Create a Native Ad Unit

Create an Order and Line Item for your native ad

Once you’ve created an Ad Unit, you will need to create an Order and a Line Item. An Order is a a group of related Line Items, which are also known as “campaigns”. Line Items are campaigns that have different targeting. For example, suppose you want to create different campaigns for different demographics or regions. Each of these campaigns can be created as a separate Line Item, which rolls up into one Order.

To create a campaign to promote your other apps, you would create an Order and Line Item with the type “Promotional”. We recommend naming the Line Item something that is very clear and specific to the ad campaign. In the Targeting section of that Line Item, be sure to select your native ad Ad Unit like below:

Native Ad Targeting

Promotional campaigns can help you drive installs or in-app purchases from your users. In addition, developers can apply to use the MoPub Marketplace to let MoPub serve ads in your app from third parties.

Upload a creative for your native ad

Once you have created a native ad Ad Unit and set up targeting for a Line Item, you will want to upload an actual ad or “creative”. To do this, select your Line Item and then select the blue “Add a New Creative” button.

The “Easy Form” contains five native creative fields that correspond to the standard we have defined with our Demand Partners on MoPub Marketplace. This is done to keep direct-sold ads and MoPub Marketplace ad formats consistent.

We recommend using the main five fields. However, many are optional and you should use the ones that best represent your ad:

  • Title (e.g., “My Game App”)
  • Text (e.g., “Play this word-building puzzle game now!”)
  • Call-to-Action Text (e.g., “Install” or “Download”)
  • Icon Image (Image of an icon for an app, as an example). Recommended size: 80x80
  • Main Image (Large image for the advertisement. Screenshot of the game, as an example). Recommended size: 1200x627

Create a New Creative

The fields in the creative correspond to content in the ad.

Monetize your app with MoPub native ads

Note: you have to upload at least one creative in order for this Line Item to actually work. You also have the ability to pass any parameter you wish by adding another field, or pass an extra image by adding an image in the form.

Implementing native ads in your app

In your app, you will first want to include and configure the MoPub SDK (instructions are available for iOS and Android).

As mentioned above, our standard native ad contains five fields (title, text, call-to-action text, icon image and main image), The fields that are returned to you are the fields that you set up above in the ‘Upload a Creative’ section.

To finish implementing native ads, you need to write code to render native ads in your app. In iOS, you would first implement the MPNativeAdRendering protocol in your view. The protocol requires you to implement the layoutAdAssets method, which contains an MPNativeAd object as a parameter. In the example below, the layoutAdAssets method grabs information from an instance of MPNativeAd and stores them in various UI objects in the view:

- (void)layoutAdAssets:(MPNativeAd *)adObject
[adObject loadTitleIntoLabel:self.titleLabel];
[adObject loadTextIntoLabel:self.mainTextLabel];
[adObject loadCallToActionTextIntoLabel:self.callToActionButton.titleLabel];
[adObject loadIconIntoImageView:self.iconImageView];
[adObject loadImageIntoImageView:self.mainImageView];

Instructions are also provided in the iOS and Android documentation to render ads in UITableView and List objects, respectively. In a future blog post, we’ll discuss strategies for inserting native ads into tables and lists.

See your native ads performance

Once you’ve created a native ad, you can see the impressions, revenue, clicks and other key performance metrics by selecting your App in the “Inventory” tab, and checking out your “Ad Source Breakdown”.

MoPub’s native ads solution is unique in that it allows you to run native ads from direct advertising partners, thousands of quality advertisers represented by Demand-Side Partners on MoPub Marketplace, and your promotional campaigns all at once in your app. For instance, you can run a “Guaranteed” ad campaign from a local restaurant that you partner with directly, native ads from MoPub Marketplace advertisers, AND fill in any left over impressions with promotional ads for your other app like below:

Monetize your app with MoPub native ads


Native ads provide developers with the ability to monetize their work while retaining control over the user experience they’ve designed. Sign up now and start using native ads in your apps today.