Native advertising has been receiving plenty of buzz over the past year, even though native ads — a particular type of advertising in which the advertisement matches the form and function of the host channel — aren’t really all that new.
Sponsored stories on social networks are examples of native advertising that have been around for a few years. Infomercials are a type of native advertising as well. Heck, even the newspaper advertorials selling everything from appliances to medications to development plots in the late 1800s and early 1990s can be considered native advertising.
Where the subject is gaining attention today, though, is the placement of sponsored content on sites such as Huffington Post and Buzzfeed.
These tightly integrated pieces serve two primary purposes: driving revenue for media services without other clear alternatives for monetization and giving brands a way to help their messages cut through the noise online and get in front of their target audiences.