Facebook mobile app install ads used by 20 percent of the top 100 grossing iOS apps

About 20 percent of the top 100 grossing iOS apps are using Facebook’s mobile app install ads to drive more downloads, said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg during the company’s Q4 2012 earnings call yesterday.

Facebook first launched its mobile app install ad unit in mid-October 2012 for iOS and Android developers that have integrated Facebook into their apps. The ad unit allows developers to promote their native mobile apps in the News Feed of Facebook’s mobile app. An “Install Now” prompt in the ad unit sends users to an app’s landing page in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Mobile-social gaming developer and publisher Cie Games used Facebook’s mobile app install ads to drive installs to its new game, Car Town Streets. As a result, it made the top 10 games chart on iOS in multiple countries with a 40 percent lower cost per install compared to its other advertising channels, Sandberg said. Sandberg believed that Facebook’s mobile app install ad units will help retail, travel and financial services transition their business into mobile.

Facebook advertising company Nanigans ran a successful campaign for an unnamed e-commerce company during the holidays using Facebook’s mobile app install ads. The app moved from the No. 253 spot to the No. 5 spot at the end of the 10-day campaign. Naningans found an average click-through-rate (CTR) of 0.74 percent, and the app acquired more than 24,300 new installs in 10 days. The campaign cost $325,000, delivering 32.5 million impressions.

Sandberg cited ComScore research in December, which found that Facebook aided the app discovery process for new mobile apps. Among the users who discovered new apps from Facebook, 48 percent clicked directly from the Facebook app to download the new apps.

Facebook now takes 23 percent of all time spent on mobile apps in the U.S., according to ComScore, a point Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reiterated in the company’s earnings call yesterday. Facebook also reported in its quarterly earnings that its mobile daily active users (DAUs) count exceeded 618 million, surpassing the social network’s web DAUs for the first time ever.