How one marketplace drives app downloads with Facebook

Poshmark says Facebook ads have helped it double its registered app users.

Katie Evans

Just as many avid Facebook users enjoy peering into the lives of friends and acquaintances via the social network, female users of marketplace app Poshmark enjoy scanning the closets of other women and seeing what’s for sale.

Perhaps that’s why Facebook ads encouraging users to download the app for the marketplace are working so well for Poshmark, which enables women to sell clothes online.

The Facebook ads enable mobile app developers, like Poshmark, to send advertisements to Facebook app users encouraging them to download their apps. Marketers log in to their Facebook ad management account, choose a mobile platform on which to deliver the ad (such as Apple Inc.’s  iOS), a region (such as the U.S.), a demographic (such as women ages 21 and older) and a budget (including how much they want to pay per click and how much they would like to spend each day).

Facebook then displays the ads to the consumer within her Facebook mobile app newsfeed. Facebook automatically pulls ad text from the description of the app in the Facebook app center, but app developers can modify it if they like. Marketers also can add an image. For example, Poshmark might use an image of a handbag for sale in the marketplace. A click of the ad takes the Facebook user to Google Play or the Apple App Store to download the app.

Manish Chandra, CEO of Poshmark, says he started using the ads a few months ago and has since doubled the number of registered Poshmark app users.  He also says that users who download the app from Facebook ads open it frequently and spend significant time engaging with it.

“We have a very engaged user base,” he says. “Our average user spends 20 to 25 minutes in the app every day and opens it seven to eight times. “I was concerned that users coming from Facebook wouldn’t be as active, but they are just as engaged.” That engagement is key, Chandra says, as Poshmark makes its money by charging a 20% commission on the sale of each item in the marketplace.

Facebook also recently updated the ad service, enabling app developers to target specific versions of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS mobile operating systems. For example, a marketer might only deliver ads to consumers using an iPhone 5 if its app works best in that version of the smartphone.

“Facebook has increasingly become a way for iOS and Android developers to grow their apps,” Facebook said in its blog post announcing a beta test of the ad service in August. “In the past 30 days, we have sent people to the Apple App Store and Google Play 146 million times.”


Facebook, Facebook advertising, m-commerce, Mobile, mobile ads, mobile advertising, mobile apps, mobile commerce, Poshmark, social media, web advertising