IAB Releases New Ad Specs For Formats Including Virtual Reality

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) on Thursday released the final version of the IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio. The specs include advertising units that allow for the creative to adjust to a variety of screen sizes and resolution capabilities.

Based on HTML5 technology, a move Google pushed in 2016, the specs also offer guidelines for augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), social media, mobile video, emoji ad messaging, and 360-degree video ads. 

The development of these guidelines proved to be a challenge, acknowledges Anthony Yam, chief product officer of Spongecell and co-chair of the IAB Tech Lab Flex Ads Working Group. "Developing this next generation of ads was a complex endeavor, combining ideas from a vast group of contributors," he states.

The portfolio’s ad units, developed by the IAB Technology Laboratory, integrate aspect-ratio-based flexible ad sizes, and also incorporate the LEAN Principles of lightweight, encrypted, AdChoices supported, and non-invasive advertising within all of its mobile, display, and native ad formats.

Since the draft of the portfolio was released for public comment in September 2016, the ad units were tested and as a result were changed to offer units with specific size ranges -- a change that the IAB says will streamline ad design and production and simplify buying and selling.

The IAB says other key changes from the version released for public comment include the addition of ad unit specifications for mobile apps, support for out-stream advertising for video, standardized guidance on use of video in display ads, and updates and guidance on using audio within display and video ad units.

The IAB and the IAB Tech Lab will provide a series of webinars and demo pages, as well as guidance to help brands make the transition. To allow for testing, the Tech Lab is releasing an open-source utility for publishers to enable them to quickly insert a flexible-sized ad container and ad server tag for all IAB ad units.

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