The layout of ad thumbnails is important. Improving it helps developers improve an app’s UX and means better monetization for mobile content. Improving ad layout can also encourage a trusting relationship with users. Thinking about how similar or different ads are to the main content of your app can help you avoid ambiguity and can help you offer value to your users.

Yeahmobi is looking at how to optimize native ad displays, for both advertisers and publishers, to better engage users.

We’ve looked at how the components such as color, style and display frequency can be optimized (in part 1) and at the way ad copy on mobile influences user behaviour (in part 2). Now we’re going to have a brief look at how in-feed layout can affect user engagement.

Given, ad thumbnail layout is part of the ad components, but we want to reiterate the importance of investigating industry standards. The IAB has brilliant guidelines and we want to look at what sticking to them can mean for your users and your potential users.

This guide comes on the back of Sharethrough’s recent publication of an infographic on native ads neuroscience (based on their study with Neilson), and the release of the ‘IAB Deep Dive on In-Feed Ad Units’ – both excellent sources of information for businesses wanting to create highly-effective native ad campaigns or indeed monetize via in-app ad displays.

In-Feed Ad Layout

The IAB went into details on what these are and how they work. YeahMobi wants to discuss what the guidelines mean for app developers who want to monetize their apps using in-feed ads.


The IAB splits in-feed ads into 3 main categories: content feeds, product feeds, and social feeds. It’s important to understand how your own app is perceived because your users’ view of your app can affect how they interact with ads displayed on it. For example, if your app is a commerce app, then it’s important that sponsored promotions fit the format for product feeds. Ads of this kind would typically be for other products or app installs and would deep link to the corresponding product or app landing page. An ad with a link to social content in this context could be jarring for the user.


IAB offers great examples for how to layout an in-feed ad. The IAB outlines 4 commonly used ad types: story ads, video ads, app install ads, and product ads. A key factor to getting the layout right is to remember to include the ‘sponsored by’ tag, advertiser logo image, icon, and download button (where applicable). Even though mobile ads can come in an infinite variety of forms with native ads, it’s still a good idea to look at commonly used examples because people are often comfortable with what they have seen before.


Reiterating the ‘sponsored by’ tag – it’s important to make it clear to users what content is main content and what content is advertised. Whilst mobile ad formats across the world are developing and can be ambiguous, it’s never a bad thing to understand the local market’s habits on disclosure. Google Play and the Apple Store have very strict guidelines about how you announce adverts, and making sure you stick to the guidelines can save you trouble in the long run.

For more information on mobile native advertising, get in touch.