Mobile has changed the way publishers and advertisers are showcasing their content. Restricted by slower loading times and lacking responsiveness, mobile sites require modification to fit the smaller screens. The consumer experience must come first.
Now, The Washington Post has revealed Fuse – a proprietary technology that enables ads to load instantly to keep users engaged.
Fuse mobile advertising
The full-screen Fuse ad units are placed in between paragraphs or articles. Swiping an ad lets the consumer engage with it instantly. Ads open pre-cached and stay within the app at all times, which reduces load times and latency issues. When viewed, ads can be closed and consumers return to the content they were viewing before.
The Washington Post plans to make Fuse its default ad experience eventually. For now it runs as a feature for branded content, but a large rollout across all ad products to include display and video will follow shortly, it says.
In a way, the move is aligned with The Washington Post‘s efforts to combat ad blocking. It was one of the first to ban users from reading the website if it detected an ad blocker in use. However, ensuring that ad load times are fast and non-intrusive is another way to get consumers to switch off their blockers. If advertising becomes something less annoying, and instead something that engages readers or at the very least gives them the option to quickly abandon the ad, blockers may no longer be seen as a necessity.
“Ads have been ignored for the most part. […] Given this crisis we’re in, [we see] a lot of publishers going in one direction, which is to block ad blockers. We want to teach users, you can click on this content. You can come right back.”
The move also means that The Washington Post is getting into the ad technology business with Fuse. It has been created by Red, the site’s own team which focuses on digital advertising products and strategy. Right now, Red has eight members of staff, but with the expansion of Fuse the team could grow in the future.