Mobile game developers have a new tool for acquiring users: advertisements on Facebook's popular iOS and Android apps, which direct users to download and install their games.
These "Mobile App Install Ads" appear in users' News Feeds when they check Facebook on their smartphone, opening product pages on the App Store or Google Play when clicked. Facebook has a huge audience it can reach with these ads -- around 600 million of its more than 1 billion monthly active users check the site on mobile devices.
The social network began testing this program two months ago, but it's now starting to allow all developers to take advantage of it. TinyCo (Tiny Monsters) participated in a beta program for the ads, and saw significantly higher click-through rates, conversion rates, and player engagement than it experienced through other mobile advertising channels.
Game discovery and user acquisition have become major concerns among many mobile developers, as they have to compete with hundreds of thousands of applications and games to attract players who will spend money in their titles.
Facebook has made recent efforts to establish itself as a source for mobile app discovery, setting up an App Center section on its site and mobile app where users can find and install games. It's been shifting its focus to smartphones in general as the company believes users are spending more time and becoming more engaged on mobile versus desktop.