Facebook Opens Up App Install Ads

In August, Facebook announced it was testing new ads in the mobile news feed aimed at driving app installs. Now Facebook is making those ads available to iOS and Android developers widely.

In early results, the company said beta partners like Kabam, Fab, TinyCo and Big Fish were able to reach a more relevant audience and increase installs more efficiently.

Game maker TinyCo, for instance, had a 50% higher click-through rate and much higher conversion rates compared to their current mobile channels, as well as a significant increase in player engagement, according to a Facebook blog post today.

Some of Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developers that have been testing the ads saw similar results. Clients of Nanigans, for example, achieved 8 to 10 times the reach compared to other mobile ad buys, while AdParlor saw click-throughs of 1%-2% from users looking for iPhone and Android games their friends were playing.

Nanigans said app install ads overall can generate 13 to 17 times the click rates of Facebook desktop ads. When it comes to gaming apps, the ads had 20% higher click rates and 22% higher cost-per-click (CPC) rates than mobile Sponsored Story ads. In terms of pricing, app install campaigns on average carry CPCs of 18 cents to 60 cents, according to Nanigans.

Facebook said it plans to continue making updates that improve the user experience with app install ads in the coming months. That may include the ability to customize an ad unit based on audience to ensure ads are shown only to people who don't already have the app on their iPhone or Android device. A forthcoming version of the ads would also allow users to start installing an app without leaving Facebook.

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