Applifier debuts Facebook-only video ad network for game trailers

Cross-promotion pioneer Applifier is upgrading from display bars to a video ad network called Impact, debuting on Facebook this month with, Gaia Online and Song Pop games.

Impact allows developers to display 30- to 60-second game trailers from within a Facebook game at key points of the user experience. The idea is that the videos increase monetization or acquisition, depending on how they are implemented. A user may be prompted to watch a video in exchange for a virtual good for that game after failing a level, for example; this would increase monetization as the user is more engaged (and therefore more likely to spend) and any advertising seen in the video will yield pay-per-view revenue for the developer. On the acquisition side, a user may see a persistent module in a game’s UI that shows a video trailer of a second game, which could drive cross-promotion.

Whatever method a developer chooses, Applifier’s policy mandates that Impact video ads are opt-in only — no forcing them on users unasked. The video ads can be targeted at either the most engaged users (the ones more likely to monetize), or at users who could be losing interest and are therefore in the mood to try a new game (more likely to become a new acquisition). The targeting is based on player behavior collected from over 250 million anonymous player profiles. Developers can choose to reinvest earnings from displaying the video ads to receive a 25 percent boost in user acquisition.

Impact might seem like a stretch for the noble-spirited cross-promotion network of 2010 that wanted to share traffic between small- and mid-sized developers. Applifier CEO Jussi Laakkonen explains, however, that game trailers are very much an extension of his company’s core values.

“We still believe in Facebook gaming,” he tells Inside Social Games. “It’s not exploding anymore, but there’s still business there. We believe Facebook games deserve more [recognition] for the quality. Trailers can provide that — banners are just not enough.”

Around this time last year, Applifier had just entered the mobile market with a game discovery and cross-promotion app similar to what it offered on Facebook. The company has been very quiet since then; Laakkonen says that we can expect to hear more about Applifier’s efforts in the coming months. Next up on the company’s to-do is a panel on user acquisition panels during the IDGA Summit at Casual Connect in Seattle next week.