Google App Campaigns Gain Ground On Facebook, Fraud Installs Up

While Facebook remains the leading media source for app marketers across top industry categories, Google made up significant ground over the past year.

That’s according to AppsFlyer’s latest Performance Index, which ranked the top media sources in mobile advertising across eight regions worldwide during the second half of 2017.  

The mobile analytics and attribution firm credits Google’s continued focus on universal app campaigns (UAC) for gaining on Facebook.

UAC makes it easier for developers to promote their iOS and Android apps across multiple platforms.

That said, Facebook remains the undisputed leader in AppsFlyer’s annual index with unrivaled scale -- almost 75% of apps running campaigns on the social network compared to 45% for Google -- and high quality.

Along with reaching the top spot in the power rankings of the gaming and non-gaming performance indexes, Facebook has also come out in front in AppsFlyer’s ROI and retargeting indexes.

Threatening the entire app ecosystem, however, fraud is increasingly contaminating marketers’ data, the firm warns.

Year-over-year, AppsFlyer found a 5% increase in the overall share of fraudulent installs.

Examining the fraud rates of all media sources in its index revealed that 45% had more fraud compared to the previous index, 8% had roughly the same amount of fraud, and 47% had less fraud.

Separately, the media space for non-gaming apps appears to be more open to change than gaming. Quite a few players have so far flown under the radar.

In fact, a significant share -- nine out of 26 -- of media sources in the non-gaming index were new to the universal ranking, per AppsFlyer. In the gaming index, only 6 out of 28 networks were new to the ranking, while the top 10 remained unchanged.

Also of note, since entering the market with its Search Ads product, Apple has gained significant traction -- increasing its share in the app install pie five times -- from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter of 2017.

More broadly, when examining top players in different performance indexes, AppsFlyer found a positive correlation between retention and position.

For most top performers -- 67% in gaming and 75% in non-gaming -- a high ranking is mainly tied to good retention rather than significant volume.

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