Facebook has made some big moves as part of its mobile-first strategy in the last couple of quarters. Whether it’s the Instagram acquisition, acqhires such as Pieceable Viewer and Spool or Zuckerberg’s relentless emphasis on doing mobile advertising the ‘right’ way, these were all indications that the world’s leading social network is all set to make it’s first big move in the mobile segment.
And yesterday, Facebook made its biggest mobile announcement in a relatively subdued manner - mobile ads for apps that were made available through a beta back in August are now available to all developers. The world’s leading social network projects these ads as an “effective way for mobile app developers to drive installs and increase app discovery.”
While it’s good news for developers, it’s not necessarily encouraging for Facebook mobile users as it may lead to an ‘ad invasion’ on their news feed.
The mobile app install ads let developers buy online space to promote their apps in the Facebook mobile news feed. When tapped, these instantly open the Apple App Store or Google Play market where users can download apps.
Facebook says it received encouraging feedback from the beta program launched in August as participants reported the ads to significantly raise their CTRs and conversion rates. Developers can leverage the existing ad tools and the new mobile app install ads API to build their own custom ads. Since these are the same ad tools that developers use on the main Facebook Web site so there’s no learning curve involved. Facebook reports that early partner TinyCo saw 50% higher click through rates on its ads and significantly higher conversion rates.
“For years, many apps and games on Facebook.com have used ads as an important part of their growth strategy,” the company said. “Now we are bringing these opportunities to mobile apps. With these new ads, mobile apps and games of all sizes across any category can reach the right audience, at scale.”
From a Facebook mobile user perspective, this can be annoying as it would mean that ads could appear in your News Feed regardless of whether you or your ‘friends’ like the brand. While the idea is to empower developers ana make money out of mobile users, Facebook needs to play it right to avoid irritating users by cluttering up the News Feed.
Analysts are already cautioning over ‘dreaded banner blindness‘ if there’s an overdose of such mobile ads. If you start seeing more ads in your Facebook Mobile news feed, you now know why.