In a sense, the cards are an alternative to deep linking, he said.
“Advertisers can still drive traffic to their site or app with a deep link or keep users within the native experience of the site through Native Cards,” Schreiber said.
“The goal is to provide the user with a more efficient media experience that also drives content engagement,” he said. “The majority of the content experience can happen directly within a feed instead of linking – whether deep or not – out to a site or application.”
More than 20 cards are available via Sharethrough right now, along them several platform-specific offerings, including a “buy now” button on the Etsy card and a “pledge now” button on the Kickstarter card. [Check out the functionality here.]
Of course, engagement is just a pipe dream if the native content behind the unit is subpar. As former AppNexus CTO Mike Nolet recently noted in a blog post, “Native advertising is killing the net.” In other words, low-quality native content isn’t doing anyone – advertiser, publisher or even vendor – any favors.
To that end, Sharethrough recently built a content quality score into its auction-based exchange to weigh the quality of advertiser content.
“Instead of focusing on ad performance data, such as click-through rates, as a proxy for quality, our algorithm focuses on signals like sentiment analysis and social sharing data to understand the innate value of the content itself,” Schreiber said. “We’re trying to put an end to clickbait that might get good engagement, but delivers little value to the end user.”