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Native advertising company Sharethrough launched “Native Cards” today, a new form of native advertising that adds interactivity and media to ads in card format on websites or apps.

native card adThe cards will allow advertisers to display content that fits the look, feel, and content style of a particular site or app. Visitors can click around in the content, watch a video, view a slideshow, listen to music, or read an article, all without leaving the property.

How does it work?

A customer might create a native card ad unit around a recent groundbreaking presentation or speech, a Sharethrough representative told me. The card could contain the presentation’s slide deck, which users can click through right in place wherever the ad is placed.

Publishers are happy, because when visitors engage with the ad they don’t leave the site. Visitors are also happy, since they can choose to experience the ad, if desired, also without leaving context. And advertisers who manage to snag attention and tempt visitors into interacting with the ad unit are also happy, having won greater engagement.

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Currently, Sharethrough has card types for over 20 social sites, including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Kickstarter, and Soundcloud. Each card displays content from the relevant site and allows the advertiser to build an ad around it.

native card ads“Cards will appear on all publishers that have inventory in the Sharethrough Exchange (STX),” a Sharethrough representative told me. “Current publishers with inventory in STX include Men’s Health, Time Inc., Flixster, Forbes, USA Today Sports, Real Simple, PEOPLE, and 300+ other premium publishers and apps.”

The first customer is Intel, which will be publishing native card ads on launch.

Native advertising is a growing product category, particularly for content and community sites that could hit $5 billion in overall ad spend by 2017. It’s also something that is helping app publishers monetize successfully, with another leader in the space, Nativex, making the list of top 10 monetization platforms in a recent VB Insight report on mobile games monetization.

“The larger vision is to eventually have promoted content inside a publisher’s feed with functionality that rivals the utility of dedicated apps,” Sharethrough says. “No clicking out, no leaving the site … a full native experience that increases engagement.”

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