Facebook currently offer different forms of advertising including the usual brand promotions and sponsored adverts; however their latest type of advert, ‘Native App Advertising’, has had some positive responses. Native app advertising is explained by Facebook as ‘Mobile Ads for Apps’ and is designed to aid mobile app developers expand their business. Native app advertising was initially released on the 7th August 2012 for a trial run. During its 30 day trial, Facebook sent people to the Apple or Google Play app store over 146 million times! The setup is as simple and as brilliant as Facebook’s other forms of advertising. First you simply select your target audience; this can include information like their age range, gender, location, device and even whether they are use 3G or Wi-Fi. Then you tell Facebook your budget and select your payment method. Like Facebook’s other advertising forms you can then extensively view and track you ad campaign’s progress. The difference between Native app Advertising and Facebook’s other forms of advertising is that it doesn’t require a ‘like’ or recommendation from a friend- anyone who has Facebook can receive the ads.
Facebook’s Native app advertising allows both Android and iOS apps to advertise in its user’s ‘News Feeds’- and this is where some of the controversy arises. If Facebook are advertising other people’s games for mobile devices, then surely it’s losing out on the people playing the games (and thus spending money) on its own website. However Jon Fingas, a reporter for a technical website called ‘engadget’, said “It's no secret that Facebook saw FarmVille for iOS as writing on the wall: it had to either tap into mobile app revenue or risk losing income”. Since mid-October when Native App Advertising was released publically, there have been some varied responses.
Storm8 is a leading developer of social games that was founded in 2009 in California. It sees on average 10 million users on its site each day. After using Facebook’s Native App Advertising, Perry Tam, CEO of the business, claims that it has been 4 times more effective at procuring users than the other channels that they’ve used in the past. Tam also describes the conversion rates as “exceptional”.
The senior vice president at GREE, the multi-billion Japanese mobile gaming company, Anil Dharni is also optimistic about the new form of advertising provided by Facebook. He describes the adverts as holding “premium spots”, and says that it will definitely be in the top few marketing channels that the company uses to progress further as there is a strong ROI.
A company who has seen a dramatic change since using Facebook’s Native App Advertising is Nanigans- a Facebook advertising company. They ran a 10 day advertising campaign through it and generated over 25,000 installs for their client. During this process they moved their client’s ecommerce app from 250th to 5th place according to the app store rankings. The usual adverts situated at the side of Facebook generate on average a CTR (click through rate) of 0.072% – however Nanigan’s latest campaign using Native App Advertising achieved a CTR of 0.74%!
Although this new form of advertising is still in its early stages, both its current and potential users have acknowledged it to be an important advertising channel for the future.