Facebook looks to drive app installs with ‘send to mobile’ button in News Feed


By Brittany Darwell Comment

Facebook is testing a “send to mobile” button in the hover card that appears when users mouse over app stories in News Feed.

The feature, which initially launched as part of App Center, helps users discover mobile apps while browsing Facebook on desktop. If an app has a mobile component, users will see a “send to mobile” button when they hover over the name of the app within the feed. Clicking the button will send a notification to the user’s phone and link to the app’s mobile site or native app download page in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

“Send to mobile” is one of the stand-out features of Facebook’s App Center, however, users are more likely to learn about new apps from their friends through News Feed so it’s useful to have the button available here as well. Developers might also benefit from having a “send to mobile” option on their app’s Facebook fan page, and we’ve wondered if the social network would create a plugin that allows developers to put a “send to mobile” button on their websites.

Facebook has taken a number of steps to position itself as a “growth engine” for apps on the web and native mobile operating systems. In the past 30 days, Facebook sent users to the Apple App Store and Google Play 146 million times, via clicks from News Feed, Timeline, bookmarks and App Center. The company also announced this week a new mobile ad unit, which will link directly to an app’s download page.