Flipkart has launched native advertising for companies, including brands that do not sell on the platform, reports Adage. The ads will follow a ‘brand story ad format’, which will allow companies to target specific buyers browsing through related products. It will also help in generating sales leads and pre-product launch surveys.

Note that Flipkart had launched its advertising program for sellers in March last year. The program would show sponsored product placements and content relevant to its users, without sharing their personal information with brands. It’s not clear if ads will be displayed only on web, or on mobile web and the app as well.

Appiterate & AdlQuity acquisition: In April, Flipkart acquired the mobile marketing startup Appiterate for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition would help Flipkart target users based on their activity on the app and the website. A month before, Flipkart bought mobile advertising firm AdIQuity for an undisclosed amount for two reasons: external marketing, where brands could use Flipkart data on user behavior to target customers & internal marketing, where the AdIquity platform would allow merchants to promote their products on Flipkart.

Snapdeal Ads: Interestingly, just last week, Snapdeal launched an advertising platform for its sellers. The company would let sellers buy product ads on the platform, which would then be displayed on the web, mobile web and apps, and provide sellers with analytics, return on investment charts, ad impact measurements etc. Both, Flipkart and Snapdeal’s solution are pretty similar, other than that Flipkart allows non-sellers to also post ads.

Paytm InMobi: In August, Paytm launched a form of native advertising, which allowed app makers to feature their app in the Paytm store. Paytm had partnered with InMobi for the initiative. Note that the same month, InMobi had tied up with Paytm and Amazon India to launch Miip, a advertising discovery platform. Miip essentially shows up as an animated green monkey on apps, suggesting users which products they can buy. Read more here.

Other developments:

– Last month, Flipkart hired Tarun Jain as head of products for online ad business. It also relaunched its mobile website around the same time.

– In October, Flipkart launched Flipkart Nearby, an app that lets users order groceries online.

– In September, Flipkart confirmed raising $700 million at a valuation of $15.2 billion. The same month, it also exit the ebooks business.