Identified Hits brings Social Ads-style endorsements to Platform ads

identified hits facebook ad networkWith an ever increasing number of Facebook Platform ad networks these days, it’s becoming harder to differentiate between them on anything other than price performance. However, new San Francisco-based Facebook ad network Identified Hits is taking a cue from Facebook’s in-house monetization team and offering a new variation on the ad unit itself: endorsement-based ads for applications.

Identified Hits’ App Endorsements service allows developers to send personalized ads to friends of users who have installed the developer’s app, inviting them to join (assuming, of course, this user’s friends are viewing another app that’s part of the Identified Hits publisher network).  The ad units contain users’ pictures, names, and a description of the value they received by using the app. Developers can choose that description based on their proprietary app data – data no one else has.

“Developers should now be thinking about what interesting data they can get from the user for the sake of pushing ads to them even when they are not actively engaging with the application,” said Identified Hits Founder and CTO Nathan Blecharczyk.

Facebook Social Ads:

facebook social ads

Identified Hits App Endorsements:

identified hits endorsement facebook ad unit

One obvious concern many developers will have about Identified Hits’ approach is the same concern some Facebook users have expressed regarding Social Ads – whether users will mind that their likeness is being used in ads for apps they’ve installed. According to Blecharczyk, App Endorsements are strictly opt-in.

“At some point within your app you need to prompt the user for permission to (potentially) send an ad featuring their personal information. You may want to do this as soon as they install the app or after they take a key step in your app which you can then cite inside of the ad itself,” Blecharczyk says. “One nice property of the opt-in is that the user is confirming the accuracy of the advertisement. Today you see a lot of misleading ads that say you have ‘one fan mail in your mailbox’ or something like that.”

We’ll keep an eye on how App Endorsements goes with early adopting developers.