Guidelines for advertising

Applies to Windows and Windows Phone

Advertising is a great way for app developers to make money, and with the unprecedented reach of Windows 8, it's also a compelling opportunity for advertisers. To learn more about advertising in your app, download Ads 101.


Here are two examples of ads designed to integrate with a specific app layout. The first image shows an app with a full screen grid layout. Note that the ad is the same size and shape as the content.

Ad embedded in the grid

In this image, an app appears in a narrow window. The ad, as well as the content, adjusts to the narrow layout.

Ad at bottom of list in narrow layout

Dos and don'ts

When incorporating ads into your app, follow these recommendations:

  • Integrate ads into your design. Create a cohesive experience by integrating advertising into the original design and content layout throughout your app. Keep in mind how much space to allocate for ads at the top level versus at more granular levels.
  • Pick complementary ad formats. Choose ad formats that make sense for your app. There are many ad formats available, and not all of them will engage your users or offer a seamless experience.
  • Pick complementary ad size and placement. Select ad sizes and placement that complement the design of your app, adhere to industry standards, and are in high demand by potential advertisers. For example, if you are using the grid layout, consider using the 250x250 pixel ad size to keep the ads within the grid. If the ads don’t fit, consider creating a separate cluster. For more examples of ad sizes, see the Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows 8.
  • Design for all window sizes. Consider how ad real estate changes based on the app's window size and orientation.
  • Be thoughtful about local ads. Decide whether you want to offer location-targeted (local) ads.
  • Include keywords. Include keywords that help categorize your app for potential advertisers that want to reach a specific audience.
  • Use well-established metrics. Consider the two key metrics for monetization, CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and fill rate (how many impressions yield an ad) when you enable advertising. Many consider CPM * fill rate to be the optimal monetization solution.
  • Don't only display ads in your app. If your app includes ads, it must provide additional functionality beyond the ads. Also, your app must allow users to complete primary tasks within the app. Apps must do more that open a website or mimic the behavior of a website.
  • Don't include ads that conflict with Windows Store content policies. These policies are described in section 5 of the App certification requirements for the Windows Store.
  • Don't use your app's description, tiles, notifications, app bar, or the swipe-from-edge interaction to display ads.

The specific requirements for advertising are described in section 2 of the App certification requirements for the Windows Store. Complying with these requirements helps you serve ads in your app without damaging the user experience.

Additional usage guidance

Ask these basic questions when choosing an ad provider for your app:

Related topics

Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows 8
Monetization and business models
App certification requirements for the Windows Store



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