Liveblogging from Inside Social Apps, New York: The Future of Mobile App Discovery & Marketing

We are in New York for the Inside Social Apps conference at the New Yorker Hotel. Inside Mobile Apps Staff Writer Kathleen De Vere  sat down with a panel on the topic of mobile app discovery and marketing. The panel consisted of GREE International Director of Developer Marketing David Chu, AdParlor CEO Hussain Fazal, Xyologic Co-Founder Matthaus Krzykowski and Tapjoy VP of Ad Sales Tom Sipple.

The Following is a paraphrased account of what was said on the panel.

De Vere: Hussein, what are your early thoughts on Facebook’s mobile news feed ads? Is providing social context enough of a “fix” for discoverability issues?

Fazal: Facebook launched mobile app mobile app install news feed ads about a month ago. Results have been interesting, it’s still relatively new. Conversion rates are 10-20 percent range. There are still lots of things that you can do with the social elements of the ads. I think once Facebook starts using more social elements, we will see how successful this ad type can be.

De Vere: The past year has seen the cost of user acquisition increase quite substantially. In your opinion, is this having a positive or negative impact on the industry?

Chu: I think that it’s a sign of the ecosystem as a whole. Developers of all sizes pay attention to how much they are willing to spend. I really do think that this evolution is a good thing for the industry. Some smaller developers can get blocked out of the system. GREE does the platform because it can bring more diversity to the ecosystem.

De Vere: Cross promotion networks are becoming more and more popular. Obviously they present a cheap alternative to more traditional user acquisition channels, but do they work? What has been your experience with them?

Chu: Cross promotion apps can see success for small developers. The GREE platform itself can be made social so that makes it easier to social.

Fazal: Facebook has the largest social context so it is in a way that a cross promotion network. You can target by precise interest which can be a really powerful tool.

Krzykowski: People can’t see if an app is good or not. The average app rating is 3.8 so all apps are around there. So it’s hard for users to discover.

De Vere: What improvements can you find for app ratings?

Krzykowski: 80 percent of people don’t know what they’re looking for. In terms of what are the big problems, app descriptions don’t work. There are tons of things that can be improved and this is why Facebook App installs can be successful. Google Play is making improvements too.

Fazal: Facebook has a great opportunity to app discovery because of how it brings social context and you can see how your friends are interacting with an app.

Sipple: My friend was looking for a math app to help him with his math. Took five different downloads to find a good one. Combining Facebook and all these other discovery types are going to be telling of the future.

Chu: The search of the app store can really make improvements on how things can be made relevant to users.

De Vere: Speaking of relevancy, Xyo Mobile App Search is looking to provide a solution. Can you bring up what they are doing?

Krykowski: The first assumption is people don’t know what they’re looking for. We’re looking to provide a more directed way people are searching for apps depending on what they want.

Chu: I think it’s definitely helping. I wouldn’t call it a bandaid. No matter what the search results, there’s going to be tools out there to help a developer move up the ranks.

De Vere: As TapJoy’s in the business of getting developers’ mobile apps discovered, have you found anything helpful as costs go up.