Can you tell if what you are looking at on a webpage or social media is a news article or an advertisement? It may not be as easy as you think. Many readers have a difficult time telling the difference between them.
In 2019, Stanford University conducted a study among 3,446 high school students. The results of the study showed that two-thirds of students could not tell the difference between news stories and ads (set off by the words “Sponsored Content”).
What is native advertising?
It is a paid advertisement that has the same look, feel, and function of an actual news article that you would find online. You will find these types of advertisements on social media and blended into websites. It can never be objective. There is inherent bias, because the content is intended to promote a brand.
Go to these websites and see if you can identify all the sponsored content.
Here are some example of what sponsor content looks like on websites and social media.
Recommended Content Ads
In-feed Native Ad
In-Feed Social Ad
Paid Search Ad
Promoted Listing Ad
What if the advertisement looks like a real news article?
Branded (Sponsored) Content