Facebook announced on Tuesday a new mobile-optimized ad unit that will direct users directly to install mobile apps.
A beta program is available for a limited number of developers who want to try the ads. When a user clicks on a mobile ad, they will be directed to the App Store on iOS or Google Play on Android to install the app. Facebook drove 146 million page views to mobile app stores over 30 days, Facebook developer Vijaye Raji says in a blog post. Those clicks came from Facebook’s news feed, timeline, bookmarks, and App Center.
The popular social network has been struggling to monetize its mobile audience. Polar Mobile CEO Kunal Gupta takes a look at Facebook’s shift to a mobile focus in a recent blog post.
In its first quarterly earnings released since going public, it revealed that 57 per cent of its nearly 1 billion monthly active users are from mobile, which is up 44 per cent from one year ago. Facebook’s mobile users are much more engaged than Web site-only users. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it is making money as a result.
“A major challenge advertisers, marketers and brands have with extending digital campaigns to mobile is the lack of a destination or landing page optimized for the small screen,” Gupta writes. “They are not interested in creating a ‘one-off’, flat mobile landing page that does not connect back into their existing online infrastructure. The investment to extend their existing Web presence is high (especially for large advertisers) and competing against other areas of focus such as e-commerce, search, video and social media.”
Despite consumers now spending 23 per cent of their time on mobile devices instead of with media such as TV, print, Web, and radio; only one per cent of advertiser spend is directed to mobile, Gupta shows.
Facebook’s new ad units are managed from within its App Dashboard. It allows developers to select their app and the audience they are targeting. They can set their budget for the ad, and then monitor its performance while its live.
Developers can sign up for the beta here.
Facebook updates Pages
Facebook also announced on Monday that it has updated its Pages to include targeted posts for specific audiences.
Advertisers can now target their posts to specific criteria such as: age, gender, interested in, relationship status, language, education, workplace, and location.