Native Advertising Takes Over

As mentioned in Scientific American column this month , "native" advertising is taking over. These ads sneak onto Web sites and apps, masquerading as content. Native advertising was born from the modern mobile milieu: touch screen phones and tablets. Traditional, space-gobbling display ads don't work well when the screen is tiny, so the ad industry has settled on a different approach: articles that closely resemble the "real" stories around them. That's how Facebook and Twitter make their billions, and how sites from Buzzfeed to The New York Times and Yahoo are creating many of the ads on their Web sites.