Definition: Above The Fold [ATF]

What does Above The Fold mean?

Above The Fold in online advertising (or ATF) refers to the viewable space on a webpage when it first loads.

It is a term taken from print media. The ‘fold’ used to mean the literal fold in a newspaper, but on a computer has come to mean the bottom of a users screen before scrolling down.

The reason the same term is used is that these spaces both have the same effect. Whether in a newspaper on a computer screen, whatever is above the fold is seen first by customers.

Being seen more means that Above The Fold ads are more likely to be interacted with. This is why so many ad buyers will insist their ads are Above The Fold. This increase in demand also means these ads can receive a higher CPM than Below The Fold (BTF) ads.

These ads have become so popular, that a new type of Ad Pricing Model has evolved around it – CPVM (which means Cost Per Viewable Thousand Impressions). A Viewable Impression is a term that is still being defined but is generally accepted to mean an ad that appears more than 50% on-screen for at least one second.

As many users will leave a page without interacting at all, ads that are Above The Fold are the only ones that are guaranteed to be Viewed Impressions. This is likely to have a significant effect on web design in the coming years.

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What it looks like

What is looks like: Above The Fold

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Top Tip

Viewability Rate is another informative, but distracting metric. While ATF inventory generally performs better, if you are running an ad campaign keep in mind that actual results count the most.


Other names for Above The Fold (synonyms)



It’s the opposite of (antonyms)

Below The Fold, BTF


Not to be confused with

Above The Line, ATL



Above The Fold Definition

Glossary Index