IAB Tech Lab last month released the version 2.0 of SafeFrame in public comment for 60 days, until September 28. IAB Tech Lab defines Safeframe 2.0 as a managed API-enabled iframe that opens a line of communication between the publisher page and the iframe-contained ad creative.
SafeFrame is a cross-domain iframe hosted by a publisher and used as a container for ad interaction that prevents the ad from directly accessing publisher page content. Using an API, the publisher responds to requests the ad makes using the SafeFrame SDK.
SafeFrame was originally released in 2013, and had only a minor update in 2014.
Safeframe is used on web while Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definition (MRAID) is used on mobile in-app, but IAB Tech Lab is looking for an alignment that enables a unified API for all HTML ads regardless of the platform, and simplifies the ad conversion from mobile in-app to web and web to mobile in-app.
IAB Tech Lab says Safeframe needs an update to modernize the ad formats and simplifiy the ad expansion. Marian Rusnak, Software Engineer at Verizon Media, and Lucas Silva, Software Engineer, at Google, wrote that in the SafeFrame 2.0, calling expand() simply expands the ad to the max size allowed.
SafeFrame 2.0 also provides support for header bidding.
“When it comes to header bidding, vendors often ask publishers to disable SafeFrames because of restrictions that complicate an already complex process—forcing a choice between revenue and page security,” said Gareth Glaser, Chair, PreBid.js Project Management Group. “The SafeFrame Working Group is working with organizations like PreBid.org to simplify the inclusion of SafeFrame ads in header bidding. We anticipate that with the adoption of SafeFrame 2.0 we’ll see that trend reverse, and we look forward to vendors asking publishers to make sure that SafeFrames are enabled and supported.”
SafeFrame 2.0 has an event listener, replacing the “register” process used in the first release of SafeFrame. Event listeners are more familiar to developers and simplifies API implementation and support.
“While SafeFrame has continued to provide benefits to the marketplace, over the last six years there have been significant technological developments, and it was clear that an update was needed,” said Shailley Singh, Vice President, Product & Global Programs, IAB Tech Lab. “SafeFrame is designed to offer publishers a scalable way to insert ads on their sites, without having to risk page security and user privacy when ad scripts and service vendor scripts would otherwise have direct access to the page.”