Native ads

A native ad is a component-based ad format where each piece of the ad creative (such as the title, image, description, and call-to-action text) is delivered to your app as an individual element. You can integrate these elements into your app using your own fonts, colors, animations, and other UI components to stitch together an unobtrusive user experience that fits the look and feel of your app while also earning high yield from the ads.

For advertisers, native ads provide high-performing placements, because the ad experience is tightly integrated into the app and users therefore tend to interact more with these types of ads.

Note

Native ads are currently supported only for XAML-based UWP apps for Windows 10. Support for UWP apps written using HTML and JavaScript is planned for a future release of the Microsoft Advertising SDK.

Prerequisites

Integrate a native ad into your app

Follow these instructions to integrate a native ad into your app and confirm that your native ad implementation shows a test ad.

  1. In Visual Studio, open your project or create a new project.

    Note

    If you're using an existing project, open the Package.appxmanifest file in your project and ensure that the Internet (Client) capability is selected. Your app needs this capability to receive test ads and live ads.

  2. If your project targets Any CPU, update your project to use an architecture-specific build output (for example, x86). If your project targets Any CPU, you will not be able to successfully add a reference to the Microsoft Advertising SDK in the following steps. For more information, see Reference errors caused by targeting Any CPU in your project.

  3. Add a reference to the Microsoft Advertising SDK in your project:

    1. From the Solution Explorer window, right click References, and select Add Reference…
    2. In Reference Manager, expand Universal Windows, click Extensions, and then select the check box next to Microsoft Advertising SDK for XAML (Version 10.0).
    3. In Reference Manager, click OK.
  4. In the appropriate code file in your app (for example, in MainPage.xaml.cs or a code file for some other page), add the following namespace references.

    using Microsoft.Advertising.WinRT.UI;
    using Windows.UI.Xaml.Media.Imaging;
    
  5. In an appropriate location in your app (for example, in MainPage or some other page), declare a NativeAdsManagerV2 object and several string fields that represent the application ID and ad unit ID for your native ad. The following code example assigns the myAppId and myAdUnitId fields to the test values for native ads.

    Note

    Every NativeAdsManagerV2 has a corresponding ad unit that is used by our services to serve ads to the native ad control, and every ad unit consists of an ad unit ID and application ID. In these steps, you assign test ad unit ID and application ID values to your control. These test values can only be used in a test version of your app. Before you publish your app to the Store, you must replace these test values with live values from Partner Center.

    NativeAdsManagerV2 myNativeAdsManager = null;
    string myAppId = "d25517cb-12d4-4699-8bdc-52040c712cab";
    string myAdUnitId = "test";
    
  6. In code that runs on startup (for example, in the constructor for the page), instantiate the NativeAdsManagerV2 object and wire up event handlers for the AdReady and ErrorOccurred events of the object.

    myNativeAdsManager = new NativeAdsManagerV2(myAppId, myAdUnitId);
    myNativeAdsManager.AdReady += MyNativeAd_AdReady;
    myNativeAdsManager.ErrorOccurred += MyNativeAdsManager_ErrorOccurred;
    
  7. When you're ready to show a native ad, call the RequestAd method to fetch an ad.

    myNativeAdsManager.RequestAd();
    
  8. When a native ad is ready for your app, your AdReady event handler is called, and a NativeAdV2 object that represents the native ad is passed to the e parameter. Use the NativeAdV2 properties to get each element of the native ad and display these elements on your page. Be sure to also call the RegisterAdContainer method to register the UI element that acts as a container for the native ad; this is required to properly track ad impressions and clicks.

    Note

    Some elements of the native ad are required and must always be shown in your app. For more information, see our guidelines for native ads.

    For example, assume that your app contains a MainPage (or some other page) with the following StackPanel. This StackPanel contains a series of controls that display different elements of a native ad, including the title, description, images, sponsored by text, and a button that will show the call to action text.

    <StackPanel x:Name="NativeAdContainer" Background="#555555" Width="Auto" Height="Auto"
                Orientation="Vertical">
        <Image x:Name="AdIconImage" HorizontalAlignment="Left" VerticalAlignment="Center"
               Margin="20,20,20,20"/>
        <TextBlock x:Name="TitleTextBlock" HorizontalAlignment="Left" VerticalAlignment="Center"
               Text="The ad title will go here" FontSize="24" Foreground="White" Margin="20,0,0,10"/>
        <TextBlock x:Name="DescriptionTextBlock" HorizontalAlignment="Left" VerticalAlignment="Center"
                   Foreground="White" TextWrapping="Wrap" Text="The ad description will go here"
                   Margin="20,0,0,0" Visibility="Collapsed"/>
        <Image x:Name="MainImageImage" HorizontalAlignment="Left"
               VerticalAlignment="Center" Margin="20,20,20,20" Visibility="Collapsed"/>
        <Button x:Name="CallToActionButton" Background="Gray" Foreground="White"
                HorizontalAlignment="Left" VerticalAlignment="Center" Width="Auto" Height="Auto"
                Content="The call to action text will go here" Margin="20,20,20,20"
                Visibility="Collapsed"/>
        <StackPanel x:Name="SponsoredByStackPanel" Orientation="Horizontal" Margin="20,20,20,20">
            <TextBlock x:Name="SponsoredByTextBlock" Text="The ad sponsored by text will go here"
                       FontSize="24" Foreground="White" Margin="20,0,0,0" HorizontalAlignment="Left"
                       VerticalAlignment="Center" Visibility="Collapsed"/>
            <Image x:Name="IconImageImage" Margin="40,20,20,20" HorizontalAlignment="Left"
                   VerticalAlignment="Center" Visibility="Collapsed"/>
        </StackPanel>
    </StackPanel>
    

    The following code example demonstrates an AdReady event handler that displays each element of the native ad in the controls in the StackPanel and then calls the RegisterAdContainer method to register the StackPanel. This code assumes that it is run from the code-behind file for the page that contains the StackPanel.

    void MyNativeAd_AdReady(object sender, NativeAdReadyEventArgs e)
    {
        NativeAdV2 nativeAd = e.NativeAd;
    
        // Show the ad icon.
        if (nativeAd.AdIcon != null)
        {
            AdIconImage.Source = nativeAd.AdIcon.Source;
    
            // Adjust the Image control to the height and width of the 
            // provided ad icon.
            AdIconImage.Height = nativeAd.AdIcon.Height;
            AdIconImage.Width = nativeAd.AdIcon.Width;
        }
    
        // Show the ad title.
        TitleTextBlock.Text = nativeAd.Title;
    
        // Show the ad description.
        if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(nativeAd.Description))
        {
            DescriptionTextBlock.Text = nativeAd.Description;
            DescriptionTextBlock.Visibility = Visibility.Visible;
        }
    
        // Display the first main image for the ad. Note that the service
        // might provide multiple main images. 
        if (nativeAd.MainImages.Count > 0)
        {
            NativeImage mainImage = nativeAd.MainImages[0];
            BitmapImage bitmapImage = new BitmapImage();
            bitmapImage.UriSource = new Uri(mainImage.Url);
            MainImageImage.Source = bitmapImage;
    
            // Adjust the Image control to the height and width of the 
            // main image.
            MainImageImage.Height = mainImage.Height;
            MainImageImage.Width = mainImage.Width;
            MainImageImage.Visibility = Visibility.Visible;
        }
    
        // Add the call to action string to the button.
        if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(nativeAd.CallToActionText))
        {
            CallToActionButton.Content = nativeAd.CallToActionText;
            CallToActionButton.Visibility = Visibility.Visible;
        }
    
        // Show the ad sponsored by value.
        if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(nativeAd.SponsoredBy))
        {
            SponsoredByTextBlock.Text = nativeAd.SponsoredBy;
            SponsoredByTextBlock.Visibility = Visibility.Visible;
        }
    
        // Show the icon image for the ad.
        if (nativeAd.IconImage != null)
        {
            BitmapImage bitmapImage = new BitmapImage();
            bitmapImage.UriSource = new Uri(nativeAd.IconImage.Url);
            IconImageImage.Source = bitmapImage;
    
            // Adjust the Image control to the height and width of the 
            // icon image.
            IconImageImage.Height = nativeAd.IconImage.Height;
            IconImageImage.Width = nativeAd.IconImage.Width;
            IconImageImage.Visibility = Visibility.Visible;
        }
    
        // Register the container of the controls that display
        // the native ad elements for clicks/impressions.
        nativeAd.RegisterAdContainer(NativeAdContainer);
    }
    
  9. Define an event handler for the ErrorOccurred event to handle errors related to the native ad. The following example writes error information to the Visual Studio Output window during testing.

    private void MyNativeAdsManager_ErrorOccurred(object sender, NativeAdErrorEventArgs e)
    {
        System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine("NativeAd error " + e.ErrorMessage +
            " ErrorCode: " + e.ErrorCode.ToString());
    }
    
  10. Compile and run the app to see it with a test ad.

Release your app with live ads

After you confirm that your native ad implementation successfully shows a test ad, follow these instructions to configure your app to show real ads and submit your updated app to the Store.

  1. Make sure that your native ad implementation follows our guidelines for native ads.

  2. In Partner Center, go to the In-app ads page and create an ad unit. For the ad unit type, specify Native. Make note of both the ad unit ID and the application ID.

    Note

    The application ID values for test ad units and live UWP ad units have different formats. Test application ID values are GUIDs. When you create a live UWP ad unit in Partner Center, the application ID value for the ad unit always matches the Store ID for your app (an example Store ID value looks like 9NBLGGH4R315).

  3. You can optionally enable ad mediation for the native ad by configuring the settings in the Mediation settings section on the In-app ads page. Ad mediation enables you to maximize your ad revenue and app promotion capabilities by displaying ads from multiple ad networks.

  4. In your code, replace the test ad unit values (that is, the applicationId and adUnitId parameters of the NativeAdsManagerV2 constructor) with the live values you generated in Partner Center.

  5. Submit your app to the Store using Partner Center.

  6. Review your advertising performance reports in Partner Center.

Manage ad units for multiple native ads in your app

You can use multiple native ad placements in a single app. In this scenario, we recommend that you assign a different ad unit to each native ad placements. Using different ad units for native ad enables you to separately configure the mediation settings and get discrete reporting data for each control. This also enables our services to better optimize the ads we serve to your app.

Important

You can use each ad unit in only one app. If you use an ad unit in more than one app, ads will not be served for that ad unit.