What is MRAID? Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface

What is MRAID?

MRAID or Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions,  is the common API (Application Programming Interface) for mobile rich media ads that will run in mobile apps. This is a standardized set of commands, designed to work with HTML5 and JavaScript, that developers creating rich media ads use to communicate what those ads do (expand, resize, get access to device functionalities such as the accelerometer, etc.) with the apps into which they are being served.

Breaking down the basics

MRAID suggests the common commands that every creative developer follows while creating their advertisements. The apps that support MRAID also follow the same commands mentioned in the MRAID. The result is a perfect synchronization of advertisements and apps. Because of this, the same ad can run across different applications from different publishers.

Because MRAID lays out a set of across-the-board guidelines, it helps to solve interoperability issues between publishers’ mobile applications, ad servers, and different rich media platforms. MRAID’s guidelines relate to different ad interactions, as well as other actions such as: expand, collapse, resize, close; additional functionalities within ad: screen size, video play, save picture on your device and others.

 Laying out the advantages

•Responsive – MRAID saves ad developers a lot of time. Since MRAID allows a single ad to function across multiple apps and platforms, the developers are no longer required to create multiple unique ads, or work on difficult customization processes.

High Interoperability – Interoperability is the ability to operate on any compliant platform or app. In other words, MRAID wants you to be able to easily run your ads on any MRAID-compatible platform or app.

Flexibility – Publishers are given the flexibility of allowing or disallowing any or all MRAID features for a specific ad.

Exit Button – Every MRAID compliant ad should have an exit button (the “x” in the upper right-hand corner) constantly visible. That way, the user has full freedom to exit the rich media ad experience at any time.

Graceful Degradation – Every MRAID compliant ad has the ability to degrade its functionality when circumstances require it to do so. The purpose of graceful degradation is to prevent terrible failure. When an app, site, or program starts to get stuck, all the extra features shut off, and you’re left with just the basic level of functioning. That’s graceful degradation. If those programs didn’t leave you with just the basics, they would completely shut down. Graceful degradation allows the ads, and their developers, to save face.

Progressive Complexity – Every MRAID compliant ad should be as simple as possible in its functionality. The features should be added in stages, so that the developer can get to know how each feature affects the way the ad functions across different apps.

•Consistency in communication between ad and app – One of the most important goals of MRAID is to provide consistency between rich media SDK’s and ads. This way, the ads can easily communicate with SDK’s regarding expanding, collapsing, or opening the app’s embedded browser. Or in other words, the app and the ad need to work together – not against each other.

The threat to MRAIDs

Unfortunately, like all ad formats in the ecosystem, users can receive MRAIDs that are injected with malware, inappropriate content, etc. from bad actors. Of these potential issues, malware poses the biggest threat.

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