Another startup from the diaspora of former AdMob employees, AppDog is putting a spin on the emerging and lucrative pay-per-install model by offering Facebook Credits to gamers who download apps from third-party developers.
Pay-per-install is a form of advertising where gamers get rewards or extra virtual currency in a mobile game if they download apps from other developers. The field has gone from one company, Tapjoy, to about a dozen in less than a year as the iOS and Android app stores have blossomed with more than 500,000 apps between them. That’s made it difficult for developers to have their work noticed so many gaming companies are turning to paid acquisition.
AppDog is offering Facebook Credits to users who download apps like Living Social or Haypi Kingdom. The amount of credits varies widely but it ranges from 1 credit for a free game like Outfit7’s Talking Gina the Giraffe to 21 credits for a paid app like Bloomberg’s Draft Kit 2011, which costs $1.99.
The company’s co-founders, John Osborne and Fassil Befekadu, worked for mobile advertising network AdMob before it was acquired by Google last year for $750 million after months of FTC scrutiny. There are at least five companies floating around from former AdMob employees, including San Francisco-based monetization platform MoPub, and AdMob founder Omar Hamoui’s Sequoia-backed incubator Churn Labs.
Befekadu says AppDog gets its access to Credits through a formal Facebook program, that used to be called App2User. Launched last year, it allows merchants and loyalty program operators to convert their different types of rewards points into Facebook Credits.