Facebook tests new design for mobile app install ads

Facebook appears to be testing a new design for its ad unit that developers use to promote their iOS and Android apps within Facebook’s mobile News Feed, according to a screenshot by ESPN’s SVP of Product Development Ryan Spoon.

The latest iteration of the ad unit is larger and includes the “Install Now” call to action. Rather than using the app’s logo, the unit uses an app’s header image from App Center. The ad now also includes an app’s star rating.

Facebook introduced ads for mobile developers to drive traffic to a download page in the Apple App Store or Google Play in early August. The ads leverage the extensive targeting options of the Facebook platform, giving developers a way to reach a more specific audience than they could through other mobile ad networks. Another benefit is the placement directly within in News Feed.

These mobile ads are only available to a limited number of beta partners for now, but mobile developers can sign up to be part of the beta here. The ads are sold on a cost per click basis through a bid model, similar to Facebook’s other ads.

Previously, this ad unit was part of a “Try these apps” module, sometimes among organic recommendations. The ad featured an icon to indicate that tapping the link would lead users to their device’s native app store, but it’s likely that few users recognized this meaning. With the new “Install Now” language, users might be less surprised when they’re sent outside of Facebook.

Top image from Ryan Spoon.