Facebook Updates Desktop App Ads To Allow For Direct Sales Of Virtual Goods

By David Cohen 

DesktopAppAdVirtualGoods650Developers with games that use virtual goods can now sell those virtual goods directly via ads in Facebook’s News Feed or right-hand-side ads following an update to the social network’s desktop application ads.

The update was announced in a post on Facebook’s developer blog, which stated that desktop app ads for virtual goods can now be created via all of the social network’s ad interfaces, including its ads create tool and Power Editor, as well as through Preferred Marketing Developers.

More details were offered in the blog post:

Today, we are announcing an update to desktop app ads that allow game developers to sell virtual goods directly from an ad in News Feed or the right-hand column. A developer with a desktop game on Facebook can now promote the sale of a virtual good, such as an extra booster pack, and gamers can purchase the virtual good directly from the ad and start playing the game.

Kixeye used these desktop app ads for virtual goods for its game Battle Pirates to re-engage active players who were past purchasers, as well as active ones who had not yet paid. Kixeye offered discounts on its gold virtual currency, and it saw over a 10 percent click-through rate and a 50 percent conversion rate for past purchasers. It saw a 14 percent conversion rate for those who hadn’t paid before. In addition, it targeted its highest-value spenders with large discounts — for instance, $500 worth of gold virtual currency for $250 — and saw over 5,000 percent return on ad spend.

We updated desktop app ads last year to help app developers better engage their players and turn them into payers, and we’ve always allowed developers to sell virtual goods in apps on Facebook. Now, with desktop app ads for virtual goods, developers can take both of these products a step further, and engage players with promotions outside of their app. Promotions at a value of $3 or less will be free for developers to provide to eligible people as part of our existing payer promotion feature, just as they are within all desktop apps.

Readers: Do you ever purchase virtual goods for games on Facebook?