Facebook continues to make strides in becoming the “cross-platform platform,” as today the company announced a way to track performance of advertising across devices. This will enable advertisers to see how people are balancing desktop, mobile and tablet before they make a conversion.
Through this cross-device reporting, advertisers can see how different devices influenced a website conversion and mobile app actions, as well as the value of the website conversion. According to a recent study by Altimeter, more than 60 percent of U.S. adults use at least two devices daily, and more than 40 percent sometimes start an activity, like shopping, on one device and convert on another device.
Facebook blogged about this new capability:
Imagine seeing an ad for a product on your mobile phone while in line at the bank. Do you immediately make a purchase on your phone? Probably not. But perhaps you go back to your office later that day and buy on your desktop computer. Such cross-device conversions are becoming increasingly common as people move between their phones, tablets and desktop computers to interact with businesses.
Facebook already offers targeting, delivery and conversion measurement across devices. With the new cross-device report, advertisers are now able to view the devices on which people see ads and the devices on which conversions subsequently occur. For instance, a marketer can view the number of customers that clicked an ad on an iPhone but then later converted on desktop, or the number of people that saw an ad on desktop but then converted on an Android tablet.
Facebook, in recent months, has been promoting a serious cross-platform message. At Casual Connect, a major games conference, Facebook pushed for game developers to have a harmonious mobile and desktop relationship, saying that it would lead to greater revenue. Now the company is giving advertisers a powerful way to see how these cross-platform users act on mobile, desktop and tablet before making a purchase.
To view cross-device conversions for campaigns, go to your Facebook Ad Reports, click Edit Columns, and select Cross-Device on the left-hand menu.
Facebook’s launch of cross-device tracking should strike at least a little fear in Google as it, at least on paper, looks to be a much more robust execution of what Google attempted with their “Estimated Conversions” release a little under a year ago, which still isn’t available outside of Adwords and hasn’t proven to be consistently reliable yet in our experience. Additionally, I give Facebook’s cross-device tracking a better chance of success given the fact that it’s happening on one centralized platform, whereas Google relies on authentication on Android phones, Chrome, and other products in a fragmented fashion.
Readers: Do you have a cross-device advertising strategy?