October 21, 2013, 4:38 PM

Facebook moves to become a bigger promoter of mobile apps

The social network uses videos to provide peaks of advertisers’ mobile apps.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Lead Photo

A look at the mobile app install ad.

Facebook Inc. is using videos to encourage consumers to install advertisers’ mobile apps.

Facebook ads promoting the installation of mobile apps appear to mobile users in the news feed on the social network’s app and mobile site. The ads provide a sneak peak of an app’s features and encourage consumers to download it right then to their smartphones with a few taps.

“Video creative has proven to be an effective way to drive engagement in News Feed, and we look forward to helping developers use their video creative to find new app installs,” writes Radu Margarint, a Facebook software engineer, in a blog post.

The new feature, which the social network announced today, enables Facebook’s mobile users to click a Play button to watch a video featuring an advertisers’ mobile app before they click to download the app.

Mobile game app DoubleDown Casino tested the videos and found that using video in mobile app ads increased its install rates and decreased its cost per install, says John Clelland, vice president, interactive marketing for DoubleDown Casino. He did not offer more details.

Facebook says that it is also giving marketers the option to  pay only when a user downloads and installs their apps. Previously, advertisers had two options to pay for the ads—bid on the cost per click or for the cost per impression. The change should save marketers about 20% on average, the social network says.

Earlier this month Facebook said that its mobile app install ads had resulted in 145 million app downloads. 

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