How Roblox hopes to assuage consumer advocates’ safety concerns with its new ad standards

by Anna Munhin Mar 16, 2023 News
How Roblox hopes to assuage consumer advocates’ safety concerns with its new ad standards

March 16, 2023  •  7 min read  •  By Alexander Lee

The latest update on its plans to enter the online advertising market was announced on Wednesday. The goal of the new standards is to make it easier for consumers to know about child safety on the metaverse platform.

The 17 to 24 age group is the platform's fastest-growing demographic group. Dave Baszucki, CEO and founder of Roblox, told attendees at the conference that over half of the users are 13 years old.

Content that is geared towards the 17-plus audience is starting to be seen.

Roblox is popular among children in the US. The growing presence of brands on the platform has sparked concerns among some consumer advocates who worry that children might not be able to distinguish between un branded experiences and games.

Some of these concerns were addressed yesterday. Roblox is working to make sure that no Roblox-served ads or developers' independent ads will be shown to users under the age of 13 When one of their experiences is a paid-for advertisement, all Roblox developers will have to explicitly disclose, although they will eventually be allowed to make their own decision.

The strategy behind Roblox's new ad standards was the subject of an annotated Q&A.

The conversation has been edited to make it more clear.

There is a person named Donato.

It's important for brands to think about how they establish a presence in this world. When the internet came about, brands were like, "we need a website", and that was kind of crazy. After social media came about, brands suddenly said, "oh, we need to have a presence on the two sites."

In January, we had 5 billion hours of usage, mostly among younger people, and brands are trying to figure out what is the appropriate way to engage consumers on Roblox. It is a great opportunity, but it is complex.

There is a day calledDigiday.

The comparison between the rise of metaverse platforms and the rise of social media allows marketers without gaming experience to understand why and how they might want to get their brand involved in Roblox. Some creators don't like to talk about the platform in these terms.

The CEO of Dubit believes a comparison to television advertising is more apt, and still supports the idea that brands shouldn't be ignoring Roblox. He said that every brand of a certain scale will advertise on TV. The audience is where they are. Not all brands need to have their own award-winning destinations.

On the presence of unlicensed branded content in Roblox

There is a person named Donato.

We run a giant creator economy and we want to honor the rights of creators to own their intellectual property. There are a lot of things we do on the search side. We take this very seriously and have always been responsive to it.

Some brands don't want to report it The community is taking their intellectual property and doing things. It depends on how it is being used in these situations.

There is a day calledDigiday.

The brands have reacted in different ways to the unlicensed use of their products.

Roblox's new ad standards could cause brands to warm up to unlicensed use of their products. Unlicensed brand experiences aren't paid for ads, meaning they won't have to be disclosed

There is a person named Donato.

We have a policy that says you can't do third-party ad serving. If you want to put content in your experience, you have to stand behind it. The data needs to stay on the platform. We're just repeating that.

There is a day calledDigiday.

It is a blow to the in-game advertising industry that Roblox is cracking down on third-party advertising networks. As properties like Roblox and Fortnite transform games into metaverse platforms, they are taking more control over their ad inventory, which in turn reduces the amount of game experiences available as inventory for the pre-existing networks.

On the word “advergame”

There is a person named Donato.

It assumes that a brand is associated with advertising. This is the difference we want to make. Again, brands are making TikToks, they are making YouTube, and they are making pictures on social media. Sometimes it can be considered advertising, but most of the time it's just organic. It is an ad if they are promoting and selling a product or service.

There is a day calledDigiday.

While there is clearly a difference between a branded experience such as Vans World and billboards inside Roblox, both are trying to build affinity with a brand and get Roblox users to spend more money on its products, whether or not there is an ad directly promoting a product or service The new standards will most likely lead to increased ad transparency on the platform, but time will tell if the changes satisfy the consumer advocates who have previously expressed concerns.