New Sponsored Items and Updated Ad Audiences

Creators,

We have two advertising product updates to share.

We are excited to announce Sponsored Items which will allow Creators to advertise their 3D UGC items. Starting today, some users will see a new row of Sponsored Items appear in the Marketplace on the “Recommended” page on the Roblox app and the item details page below the “Recommended” row on the web version of Roblox.

We are also making adjustments to the audiences you can reach with our ads to be more consistent with our safety standards. New campaigns for Sponsored Experiences, Sponsored Items, and User Ads (banner ads for experiences, Marketplace items, and groups) are no longer able to reach users under the age of 13.

Introducing Sponsored Items

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The Sponsored Items sort is a new way for 3D UGC avatar item creators to drive discoverability of their items on Roblox. Sponsored Item Ads will appear in the Marketplace on the “Recommended” page on the Roblox app and the item details page below the “Recommended” row on the web version of Roblox.

Since this is a new product, you may see a mix of Roblox-created items as placeholders alongside community-created items. Over time, items from the community will replace the Roblox items as more creators start to run advertisements. To start, we’ll be showing Sponsored Items to 10% of all 13+ users over the next week and expand over the coming months.

Note that only 3D UGC items are eligible for Sponsorship. If you’re curious about the UGC program and how to apply, we have more information available over here.

Updated Ad Audiences for Sponsored Experiences, Sponsored Items, and User Ads: Ages 13 and Older

As of today, all advertisements placed by Roblox (ads for Sponsored Experiences, Sponsored Items, and User Ads) will reach users ages 13 and older. All new campaigns now have the option to reach users ages 13-16 and/or 17+.

Since users under the age of 13 will no longer be eligible to see these type of ads, advertisers that have reached audiences of all ages with their ads in the past may see roughly half as many impressions as they did before. We recommend you continue to monitor your ad metrics and to consider experimenting with the new audience options when you start a new campaign.

If you have already scheduled Sponsored Experiences ad campaigns to reach users under age 13, we will continue to deliver to your selected audience until the scheduled end date.

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In my opinion, this is a bad idea. (Blocking users under 13 from seeing User Ads/Sponsored Ads)

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If you target ads to 13-16, and your game/ad has historically done well with that demographic, then could you expect to receive an uptick in the number of impressions of that ad?

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I’m actually… happy? Ish? It’s nice to see children not be targeted by ads, just hoping that it gets swapped out for more accurate advertising targetting.

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Roblox removed the Community Creations tab just to do this.

I guess Roblox really needs more money.

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The ads were already totally privacy-respecting. Is this update going to be paired with more specialized ad targeting in the future? If so, why not just disable ad targeting for users <13?

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How exactly does halving impressions increase Roblox’s revenue? It has nothing to do with money. This change was done for child safety because you morally shouldn’t advertise to people under the age of 13.

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This is going to absolutely ruin games that focus and concentrate their efforts on being Family Friendly and very kid-liked-oriented (ages 6-13).

Roblox blocking users under 13 from being able to view Ads/Sponsors will completely collapse games that rely on regular sponsors for those younger ages to be effective and grow their game.

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Discoverability for new developers is already difficult in the current climate. Now you’re going to remove the ability to advertise your experiences to roughly 50% of the platform?

I see this as a step in the wrong direction for helping smaller developers be able to reach a wide variety of audiences. I could understand the reasoning in not wanting them to see advertisements that users upload, but for them to not even be able to see sponsored games is a bit of a reach.

Forcing the age-up initiative on Roblox in this way is not very friendly to creators that are not already well established.

EDIT: Also just sneaking this update in the fine print when it is a MAJOR change is quite shady in my opinion.

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Halving the ad audience means double the competition :skull:

Best bet now is to find youtubers to play… which is harder when less people are playing, because less people see the ads (less overall game reach).

This will be making things interesting.

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Roblox should release more information on the safety reasons driving the 13+ audience decision. If the audience Roblox allows us to advertise to has now been halved, they owe an explanation as to why.

Personally, I don’t really care since my games don’t target U13s anyway, but sheesh. What a sweeping change with no explanation.

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Why is there gender specific ads; seems kinda weird that non-binary and other lgbt people will have to pick their favorite gender to see ads for. Cool that we can choose age ranges to advertise for though.

The american FTC seems to be looking to crack down on advertising to children, which is harmful to them. This is probably part of why alongside other laws protecting children that you can’t make sponsorship towards kids in this new update.

Edit:


Sponsored items don’t show up anywhere in-app, shouldn’t they show up in app in order to be effective?
nvm i am not in the 10% of users this is shown to

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What happens to the advertisement space for people under 13? do they just have blank space left?
That’s over 50% (!!!) of Roblox’s playerbase not able to be reached by advertisements, not to mention that most people over the age of 13 already know what an adblock is, Roblox is really shooting itself (and developers) in the foot. Genuinely stupid update Roblox.

I also have to add that this update has been planned for the past year, as a Roblox search & discovery PM said in a different post about the same issue

We have some exciting changes coming up this year, please stay tuned for future announcements!

When will we remove textures, clothing and free models section? All of them are security issues for Roblox, just like advertisements.
I honestly don’t know what you’re smoking, Roblox, but I would genuinely want to get some

It seems because of this update I just can’t continue working on my game, there is no way in hell it would be profitable

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I understand that, from a moral perspective, you shouldn’t advertise to users under the age of 13, but Roblox is a platform that’s player base is made up - by majority - of users 13 and under.

As a platform at large, Roblox’s game discoverability is unreliable at best, and crippling the only other method of presenting your game to new audiences substantially hurts developers. Opportunity on Roblox for new games is simply not plentiful enough to warrant such a major, impactful change.

Hoping for some better news to come out of this - this is disappointing to see.

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Would’ve been great if the developers that take heavy advantage of the U13> ads/sponsors were warned a few weeks before but okay

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I am assuming this change was done to prevent potential investigation/ legal trouble. There are a lot of restrictions when advertising to children, and I assume Roblox wanted to play it safe.

It is annoying that Roblox continues to lack transparency. It would make more sense if Roblox stated why they are doing this. Seems like they tried to slip it in with another update to avoid backlash.

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This is irrelevant. Let’s not stray too off topic here eh? This is about children being targeted by advertisements and possibly taken advantage of – which would follow industry standards set my Google and other advertising giants.

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It is nice to have a more specific target demographic that is not just 13+, but also 17+.
The update to sponsorships & user ads will definitely change things for the better.

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This seems like a huge change to the platform, why just try to slip it in with UGC news?

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