Product Releases & Updates

Welcome to Outbrain’s product release round-up! We’ve recently launched numerous innovative products shaped by your feedback. Below, we’re highlighting product information and resources that will set you up for success.

May 2022

May 23 – New and improved Google Tag Manager template

We’ve introduced a new Google Tag Manager template that makes setting up the Outbrain pixel and tracking conversions for your campaigns easier than ever before.

With the new template you can now easily configure Page View or Event-based pixels, as well as add Custom parameters – like Currency, Order ID, and Order Value – directly in the Google Tag Manager tag setup.

Check out this Help Center article to learn all about the new implementation process.

May 19 – Engagement Bid Strategy – Improved Google Analytics integration troubleshooting

We added new Engagement Bid Strategy tools to make Google Analytics integration troubleshooting a lot easier.

You can now see the Google Analytics integration status symbol available directly in the campaign grid as well as check what is the reason causing the integration issue.

To identify the issue, simply hover over the symbol in the campaign grid and you’ll be guided to the dedicated Help Center article explaining how to resolve each case.

May 2 – Notification Center

We released Notification Center, a feature that centralizes all your important account and campaign level updates, to help you increase efficiency and campaign performance.  

Currently, the Notification Center includes notifications about Campaign Capping and Rejected Content. We’ll be adding a variety of new notification types, including generic information, warnings, errors or recommendations, in the upcoming months.

April 2022

April 20 – ‘MSN exclusively’ targeting now on desktop only

When selecting to run campaigns on MSN only, it’s a best practice to do so on Desktop, as Smartphone does not provide sufficient scale.

To provide clear guidance and set our advertisers up for success, we have now added a warning on the Amplify dashboard that appears when users select both ‘MSN exclusively’ targeting and Smartphone alone. This warning urges the user to change their Device Targeting to Desktop.

March 2022

March 22 – Improved data flow with quicker refresh

Data in the Amplify dashboard now refreshes every hour, a substantial step forward from the previous 2-4 hour delays. This new and improved data flow provides marketers with a more accurate gauge on campaign performance and trends on-demand without experiencing lengthy wait times. This ultimately leads to more (and better-informed) optimization opportunities at a quicker pace so performance can continue to improve faster than ever.

February 2022

February 28 – Mandatory two-factor authentication

In an ongoing effort to protect users’ account information and ensure maximum security across the dashboard, all Outbrain users are now required to utilize two-factor authentication to log in to their account.

Two-factor authentication is a method of account verification that requires users to prove their identity in two steps before gaining access to the dashboard. This differs from standard one-step authentication, which simply requires the user to enter their login credentials.

You can choose between two types of two-factor authentication, which you can adjust within your User Settings: authenticator app, such as Google Authenticator (recommended) or email verification.

To learn more about two-factor authentication, check out this Help Center article.

February 16 – Engagement Bid Strategy (EBS)

EBS utilizes Outbrain’s machine learning technology combined with first-party analytics data to automatically optimize and adjust bids in order to achieve marketers’ engagement goals. 

Leveraging user behavior and engagement data from Outbrain and/or via direct integrations with Google Analytics (more partnerships to come), EBS aims to help brands more efficiently and effectively reach audiences to drive real intent and attention to messaging. Ultimately, this new tool drives long-term outcomes while reducing privacy concerns and reliance on third-party cookies.

To learn more about EBS and how you can utilize it today, check out this Help Center article.

February 15 – Ad names

You now have the option to assign unique names to your ads when creating your ads during campaign setup. Ad names make it easier for you to compare, reference, or group ads across all your Outbrain campaigns, and can also help you keep track of performance when comparing your campaigns.

To learn more about ad names, check out this Help Center article.

January 2022

January 31 – New audience targeting format

We’ve consolidated all audience targeting options into one simple section where the options are presented as side-by-side buttons: Outbrain’s full audience, Custom audiences, Contextual (IAB), Outbrain Interest, and Attributes.

December 2021

December 16 – New advanced placement targeting format

We’ve combined all Advanced Placements & Targeting options (MSN only, high impact placements, adblock exclusion, and dynamic retargeting) into one collapsed card with clearer explanations.

December 16 – New location targeting flow

We’ve replaced additional buttons with a simpler drop-down menu of options. In addition, the default location targeting is now Worldwide (global).

December 2 – Increased budget visibility

We’ve made an improvement to the Budget column to help enable quick status checks and instant recognition of campaign parameters. The Budget column now provides visibility into the amount spent to date, versus just the overall budget.

We’ve also added a clear call-to-action for capped and maximized budgets to guide users how to optimize their campaign spend, ultimately expanding reach and improving performance.

November 2021

November 30 – On/off campaign status column

On the Amplify dashboard Campaigns grid, the campaign Status column was replaced with an On/Off column. This new format and functionality allows for instant recognition of campaign status (live or paused) and enables a seamless workflow so you can quickly set live or pause campaigns with a simple toggle.

November 29 – New archiving process

We’ve changed the process for archiving campaigns to make your workflow even smoother and easier! Simply select the checkbox associated with the line item you’d like to archive and choose “Archive” from the Actions dropdown menu beneath your reporting tabs.

November 22 – Opt-in two-factor authentication

Outbrain now offers two-factor authentication on the Amplify dashboard, enabling users to add an extra layer of security to their account. Marketers can opt in via User Settings (accessed via clicking the email/username at the top right-hand corner of the dashboard).

When opted in, users must (1) enter their login information and (2) confirm via email each time they log onto the dashboard. Please note, a login is only forced every 7 days; Amplify can be open on a browser for up to one week before a user must log in again.

In addition to two-factor authentication, we also strongly recommend each account contributor have their own unique login tied to their email, which can be facilitated through the User Management tab.

October 2021

October 27 – Change to Conversions tab: Default audience segment creation

In order to facilitate a better user experience with decreased room for error, the “Create an Audience Segment” checkbox at the bottom of the new conversion creation page will be automatically checked by default. This is an important and necessary step when creating a new conversion in the dashboard, as it ensures the converted users are pooling in the Audiences tab.

September 2021

September 29 – User Management

You can now seamlessly view and manage who has access to your account, all within your Amplify dashboard. Easily add or remove users from your dedicated advertiser via the User Management tab on the left-hand side rail of your dashboard.

September 26 – Blur & Color Padding (Image Formatting)

You now have two new ways to customize how your image is formatted to fit different widget types across Outbrain’s network: blur and color padding. These formats are in addition to the existing (and recommended) “Automatic” option, which automatically adjusts your images to satisfy each ratio.

Blur padding: adds blurred borders to your image, which eliminates the need to crop or adjust to make it fit the widget ratio. This type of border works best if your image features many different objects or colors.

Color padding: adds colored borders to your image that best match the dominant color of your image, which eliminates the need to crop or adjust to make it fit the widget ratio. This type of border works best if your image features mainly one color and/or has a solid background.

Blur and color padding are a great solution for users who seek additional assurance related to creative fidelity or whose images feature a logo, disclaimer, or elements that must be shown in their entirety. That being said, Outbrain’s default “Automatic” uses AI to detect the prominent features of your images and format them accordingly.

Image Formatting options can be found underneath your uploaded image during the content creation process.

August 2021

August 18 – Title Suggestions (Globally Available)

The Title Suggestions (Beta released on May 25) is now globally available. To quickly recap the tool and its key benefits:

AI technology is leveraged to scan landing pages and suggest relevant, engaging titles that will drive maximum clicks. Title Suggestions will help you to shave time off the campaign setup process, find inspiration for multiple titles, and ultimately increase campaign performance. This tool sits within the “Content Creation” section of the campaign setup process, and currently only supports English.

For more information on this feature, check out this Help Center article.

August 9 – Change to campaign creation flow: Platform selection

You can now select your targeted platform (device) earlier on in the campaign creation process, as this portion has been moved to a higher position.

CPCs vary by device, which is why we recommend breaking out your campaigns by device as a best practice. With that in mind, we shifted the platform selection to a higher position above budget and CPC so that it fits more logically within the campaign creation process.

July 2021

July 1 – Dynamic Retargeting (Globally Available)

Maximize conversions and reduce your CPA by razor-targeting consumers with the most relevant products for them. Dynamically serve creatives featuring the most recent product(s) a consumer browsed while reaching them at the most optimal time the best chance of purchase.

Please note, Dynamic Retargeting is best suited for retailers and brands with a high volume of products who would benefit from only serving ads featuring the products most relevant to each user.

For more information on how to utilize Dynamic Retargeting, check out this Help Center article.

June 2021

June 16 – Approved Ad Editor

You can now edit ads even after they’ve been approved, whereas they could previously only edit pending or rejected ads that are marked by “Edit Required.” This will provide more flexibility for the management of creative and messaging. Depending on the edits that are made, the ad might go back to the regular content review process (eg. change in the CTA button doesn’t involve another review). Please note, generally rejected ads (no prompt to edit) are still unable to be edited.

June 16 – History Log

Easily keep track of all changes that were made to your ads with the new History Log feature. This log provides an archive of all actions taken on the ad (including when they took place and who implemented them) so that you can keep a close eye on how adjustments impact performance.

Ad history can be filtered down to the content level, including details on the actions that took place (ex. Title, image, CTA, or any other creative edit).

May 2021

May 25 – Title Suggestions (Beta Release)

Take the guesswork out of copywriting with the Title Suggestions tool. AI technology is leveraged to scan landing pages and suggest relevant, engaging titles that will garner the most clicks.

Title Suggestions will help you shave time off your campaign creation process, find inspiration for additional titles, and eventually increase campaign performance with highly effective titles.

This tool can be found within the “Content Creation” section of the regular campaign creation process, and currently only supports English.
 
May 18 – MSN Exclusive Feature (Globally Available)

Outbrain offers the ability to run your campaigns exclusively on Microsoft News (MSN) properties. Simply select the “MSN Only” setting to activate this feature and enjoy immediate results from one of our top-performing publisher partners.

This setting can be found within the “Placement” section of the regular campaign creation process. For more information, read through this dedicated Help Center article.
 
May 16 – Duplicate ads across all Smartads

Save valuable time when setting up multiple campaigns by utilizing the Duplication tool. You can leverage this feature to copy over campaign settings while maintaining the option to customize creative formats. This feature works across all our Smartads formats.
 
May 11 – Update on third-party impression pixel

Take control of measurement by adding up to five third-party impression pixels (on top of the existing five click tracking pixels) directly from your Amplify dashboard. Please note, third-party pixels must be provided by one of our approved vendors.

To learn more about how to utilize third-party pixels on your campaigns, please read through our dedicated Help Center article.

April 2021

April 7 – IAB Category Targeting (Globally Available)

With the decline of third-party cookies, contextual targeting is more crucial than ever. You can tap into IAB Category Targeting with Outbrain to hyper-target campaigns to the most relevant articles for your audience based on hundreds of verticals defined by IAB.

To access this option, simply navigate to the “Targeting” section when creating a new campaign, and select (or exclude) your desired verticals.

To learn more about how you can utilize IAB Category Targeting with Outbrain, visit our dedicated Help Center article.

March 2021

March 16 – Title spec change: From 150 to 100 characters

In an effort to better accommodate new placement layouts across our publisher partners, we have adjusted our maximum title length to 100 characters (previously 150). We still recommend 60-80 characters as a best practice to ensure a more positive user experience and also to better guarantee your ad copy will comfortably fit in the majority of our placements.

For more information, check out our Best Practices for Content Creation.

February 2021

February 10 – LiveRamp CRM segments

As a result of an update on LiveRamp’s end, we have adjusted our fees for utilizing LiveRamp’s CRM segments. The new CPC pricing is as follows:

  • Targeting: $0.25 (from $0.20)
  • Lookalikes: $0.05 (from $0.02)
  • Exclusions: $0.05 (from $0.00)

February 8 – Outbrain Universal Pixel update

For marketers with several advertisers listed under the same account, multiple advertiser IDs can be added to the same pixel simply by separating them with a comma and a space. This way, you’ll be able to capture audiences for each respective advertiser that is tied to the pixel.

Please refer to our corresponding Help Center article in order to ensure proper setup for accurate attribution.

 February 2 – Image Editor (Globally Available)

Outbrain’s widgets mildly fluctuate across publishers, leading to slight variations in proportions. While Outbrain utilizes AI technology to automatically adjust your assets to each format, we also provide you with the Image Editor as an optional layer of quality control. This tool allows you to customize the cropping of your creative if you’re not satisfied with the image ratio previews shown.

For more information on image formatting, please check out our Best Practices for Content Creation.

January 2021

January 13 – Clip (Globally Available)

The newest Smartad format, Clip, enables advertisers to bring eye-catching motion to ads via short-form video assets (MP4 & GIF) to better capture consumer attention while driving user action via CTA.

For helpful tips on creating a campaign using Clip, take a look at our dedicated Help Center article.