IAB Standards – The Future of Advertising Online
Founded in 1996, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) develops technical standards and best practices for the digital industry. In the same way the W3C lays out standards for web development, the IAB lays out standards for digital advertising. These standards are put into practice by the over 650 media and technology companies that make up the IAB’s membership. These members account for about 86% of the online advertising in the United States.
There are several standards and best practices that are particularly relevant to users of AdSanity. The first is the Ad Units standards. The current version of AdSanity uses specifications originally laid out by the IAB standards. With the proliferation of mobile and tablet devices as well as the continued strong numbers of desktop and laptop devices these formerly fixed sizes have to become more adaptable. One of the ways that this adaptation is being achieved is through flexible sizes. Similar to how responsive web sites adapt to your various devices, flexible sizes allow for ads to adapt to a variety of devices.
In addition to the ad units there is a new standard that the IAB has introduced called LEAN. LEAN stands for lightweight, encrypted, AdChoice supported, and non-invasive advertising. The overall goals are about keeping your ads optimized and user-friendly. Most ad networks are leveraging HTML5 to keep their designs flexible and small in size (See HTML5 Ads – New Gold Standard). LEAN makes a lot of new recommendations on how to handle everything from auto-playing audio, video ad behaviors, pop-up usage, and many other aspects that can impact a user’s experience on a website.
One of the important parts of LEAN is the support of AdChoice. AdChoice is a technology supported by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) of which the IAB is a member. It allows users to have a voice in the type of advertisements they are shown. The idea is to make the advertising that you are exposed to more relevant to you and the products and services you are interested in.