Think about those times when ads were intrusive as you read a story on the web: perhaps a distracting video ad interrupting paragraphs just as you were becoming immersed in the narrative, or a tone-deaf ad showing up alongside coverage of a somber event. If you’re a content creator or publisher, think about the times when the “it’s a surprise!” nature of programmatically inserted ads has been a pain point.
As content management systems (CMS) increasingly move to “block-based” editors that are much more visually representative of the final state on the front end, we have an opportunity to design tools that better recognize and integrate advertisements as part of the editorial process. Rather than treating ads as an afterthought, what if we start treating them as a fully integrated component of the content as it’s constructed?
With our preferred CMS – WordPress – heavily investing in a new block-based editor, code-named Gutenberg, our Revenue Strategists and Platform team saw an opportunity to contribute by experimenting with handling ad placement inside of the editor. At the heart of Gutenberg is a block-based method of creating and managing your content, shifting to a unified site-wide “block” concept that further empowers content creators to make their work look just the way they want. We thought: shouldn’t advertisements be one of those blocks?