F8: Facebook’s Analytics for Apps, Other Announcements

Facebook’s announcements about Messenger and video stole the thunder during day one of its F8 global developers’ conference Wednesday in San Francisco, but there was other significant news, too.

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Facebook’s announcements about Messenger and video stole the thunder during day one of its F8 global developers’ conference Wednesday in San Francisco, but there was other significant news, too.

The social network introduced Analytics for Apps, enabling application developers to rely on actionable information to improve their apps. Analytics for Apps allows developers to:

  • Learn how people use your product across multiple devices: People are increasingly accessing your app and website across multiple devices. Facebook Analytics helps you answer questions like, “What percentage of the people in Canada that installed my mobile app ended up purchasing on my website?”
  • Smarter decision-making: Build better experiences for the people using your apps by understanding the steps people take within your app, finding areas that are causing people to drop off and seeing how well you retain people.
  • Gain insights about the people using your app: Tailor your content within your app by better understanding the people who use it with aggregated demographic reporting. For instance, you can see age, gender, country and language breakdowns for people that have “Added to Cart.”
  • Improve your app marketing: With cross-network mobile app attribution and campaign measurement tools, Facebook Analytics enables you to measure the lifetime value by ad network or campaign.

AnalyticsForApps

AppAnalyticsAppInstallsToPurchases

AppsFlyer CEO Oren Kaniel said in an email to SocialTimes:

Facebook’s new analytics tool will be a great solution for small advertisers that wish to track the performance of their app install campaigns on its platform, but we believe that midsized and larger advertisers that are conducting campaigns across a broad mix of publishers including Google, Twitter, Apple and others will need a different solution. They’ll need an unbiased, transparent and independent solution, one that spans practically the entire ecosystem. Because of recent changes like TUNE’s removal from Facebook’s Mobile Measurement Partners program and Ad-X’s retiring, there are a limited number of those solutions still on the market, and we believe the main reason Facebook is launching a basic analytics tool is to mitigate any further market changes.

In an effort to make users’ experiences with apps more consistent, Facebook announced the rollout of a new share sheet, with product designer Todd Hamilton writing in a developer blog post:

Today there are more than one-dozen ways you can share to Facebook from apps on mobile and desktop. Developers are building a variety of custom sharing experiences, as well as using products we’ve built. This has driven high usage of sharing tools — in fact, people shared more than 50 billion pieces of content from apps in 2014.

At the same time, having all these different experiences makes sharing inconsistent for people and requires significant work for developers. We’ve heard from people that they want certain improvements to the ways they can share, including:

  • A consistent experience sharing content from many kinds of apps so that things like tagging friends, adding a feeling or choosing an image work the same way no matter which app people are using.
  • A clear preview of the content their friends will see when they share.
  • The ability to share to smaller audiences, including groups and Messenger.
  • The opportunity to share without having to log in to the app with Facebook.

We want to do a better job building the sharing tools developers need in order to provide a clear, predictable experience in their apps. So today at F8, we previewed a new share sheet that creates a consistent sharing experience for people using apps and opens up more places where content can be shared. It doesn’t require Facebook Login, and it’s easy to add to your app with just a few lines of code. And with more than 700 million people using groups and more than 600 million people using Messenger, this opens up big, engaged communities where content from your apps can be shared.

ShareSheet

As part of the same effort, the social network also released a new comments plugin designed to be compatible with more sites and optimized for mobile, and including a new moderation tool with improved spam filtering, as well as mobile share and send buttons for iOS and Android apps.

Finally, Hamilton described App Invites, which Facebook called a new way for users to share apps with friends:

App Invites is a new way to grow your apps organically by letting people send custom, personal invites to their friends and ultimately drive app installs across all mobile platforms. App Invites don’t end up on someone’s Timeline, or in their News Feed; instead, they’ll show up on Facebook in a completely new area we’ve built just for Invites. We hope this new tool helps people share apps more seamlessly, while driving installs for your app.

AppInvites

Facebook also announced that mobile app developers can now tap into LiveRail’s monetization platform for their video advertising and display advertising efforts, adding that LiveRail is incorporating Facebook’s ad-targeting capabilities.

Parse, the social network’s cloud app platform, announced its entry into the Internet of Things, saying that its platform can now be used “to build a whole new category of apps for connected devices, from garage-door openers to smoke detectors to wearable wristbands.”

For information on still more announcement from F8, please see this developer blog post from director of platform monetization Deborah Liu.

Readers: What did you think of day one of F8?

Photos by Praneendra Kuver.

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