Outbrain sees 40% traffic spike for its native ads during Facebook downtime

By MixDex Article may include affiliate links

Native advertising platform Outbrain says the Oct. 4, 2021, Facebook outage resulted in a 40% spike in traffic through its servers as users looked for other ways to discover content.

Outbrain, rival Taboola and other so-called “native” advertising services have become hugely popular with digital publishers. The services add mostly similar series of “related article” style links mixed in with other news content that are actually advertisements.

Often the font and styling is highly customized to blend in seamlessly with the “real” content on the page and many online publishers feature these types of native ads multiple times per page and on the homepage in fairly prominent positioned.

Outbrain and other companies typically make money either when the native ads are seen, clicked or result in a sale or conversion — or a combination of all three. Part of that money is shared with publishers.

The ads are highly lucrative because they don’t look like ads — though they have gained a reputation of commonly using clickbait-y headlines and linking to listicle style articles that feature a seemingly endless number of pages with even more ads — native and display.

With Facebook down for much of the day Oct. 4, publishers and content developers weren’t able to rely on it to drive traffic to their stories and articles — either organically or via paid placements in newsfeeds.

However, Outbrain reported a 40% spike in demand on its data centers, which handle determining the best ads to show on a page and serving them up as well as handling what happens when someone clicks on one.