One of Facebook's biggest mobile success stories is its mobile app install ads, which have been available for nearly a year. 8,400 advertisers leveraged mobile app install ads in Q2 2013, and the ads have driven more than 145 million app installs between the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Facebook just followed up on install ads with engagement ads, which provide users with a call-to-action to use apps already installed on their devices. Users can now get reminded about the apps that go unused and forgotten while using Facebook on their mobile devices.
Get Downloaded. Get Used.
101 million U.S. daily mobile users make up 78% of Facebook's 128 million daily U.S. user base. It's fair to say U.S. Facebook users have gone mobile.
Facebook is one of the most accessed mobile properties in the world, and now they're able to effectively leverage their position to appeal to developers and advertisers. It makes sense. Facebook has already proven itself to be an effective channel for driving app downloads. Now, it can be used to actually drive usage of apps once installed.
Standing Out from the App Clutter
The average smartphone has 41 apps installed. That's quite a bit of clutter to stand out from, and even if an advertiser is so lucky to get the download, making that app part of a regular routine and usage behavior is completely different. A download isn't enough. Facebook is now offering a solution, which makes it uniquely powerful from a mobile app launch perspective but also very useful.
Facebook is on the verge of another successful ad product.
Building a mobile app is the same as building a social media presence. It's not enough to build it. It has to be supported. Facebook may be offering a gateway to help with that. It has the reach to drive downloads and now reminders to drive usage. It's one way marketers can support their mobile initiatives and Facebook can generate revenue from its high mobile engagement.