Facebook is best channel for driving app discovery at volume, reckons AppsFlyer

And it's got a graph to prove it

Facebook is best channel for driving app discovery at volume, reckons AppsFlyer

A fool and his money are easily parted, especially when it comes to user acquisition.

And as Israeli mobile apps measurement platform AppsFlyer points out, there are currently plenty of ways you can spend your money.

But which are the best?

That's the question it's set out to answer through the analysis of billions of in-app events during Q1 2013.

The colour and the shape

According to its figures, incentivised downloads (the purple circle) provide the highest conversion rate, but at a very low quality of user in terms of their longterm activity.

Similarly, search (the yellow circle) provides great quality of users, but at a low conversion rate, and a low volume.

The diameter of each circle represents the volume each of the six types of user acquisition channel can provide.

So it's social discovery (the blue circle) that AppsFlyer says works the best. In particular, it says that since Facebook got heavily into app discovery, this channel has become pre-eminent - something Facebook itself has noted

"Facebook Mobile App Install Ad unit was by far the most effective social driver of high quality users at large volumes," AppsFlyer notes on its blog.

Ranking method

In terms of other channels, cross promotions (green circle) provides similar quality to app discovery platforms (red circle), but with a higher conversion rate and at a lower volume.

As you might expect, general ad networks (orange circle) provide the most volume of users, but these are both low quality and offer a low conversion rate.

"With app marketing the Wild West for game developers, we found that some channel distribution tactics perform better than others," commented AppsFlyer CEO Oren Kaniel.

"But there is one piece of advice I'd offer all game app developers and that is to continuously measure every marketing action you take so that you know which implementation for which media performs best.

"And keep on measuring because performance varies on a weekly basis."

[source: AppsFlyer]

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.


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Great analysis Jon, thanks.

Your article demonstrates that mobile user acquisition on facebook have the best LTV (life time value per users), but facebook users are very expensive to get: almost $6.00 per user now on average according to Matthew Diener article.

According to your analysis, the best value per mobile user are App Discovery platform: LTV is much better than Adnetworks, and only 30% lower than facebook users. However, average CPI is 3 time lower on Apps discovery platform versus facebook (around $2 per user instead of $6), so App Discovery platforms are on average twice as much efficient as Facebook to get quality non incentivized app users.

This analysis match totally several LTV analysis we did with a few iOS apps developers (games & non games apps) featuring their apps on Free App Magic and other MagicSolver discovery platform apps in the big 5 countries in Europe and in North America in the last few months.

Emmanuel Carraud
Oren Kaniel
AppsFlyer is a mobile apps marketing measurement platform that allows app developers to measure mobile user acquisition across all channels: paid, organic, viral and social sources.

In addition, AppsFlyer is Facebook Mobile Measurement Partner. AppsFlyer SDK solution can track all traffic sources in one SDK.
jon jordan
I don't know the answer, but I guess AppsFlyer will be able to advise, although I think they'd say you should integrate their SDK!!
Michal Karminski
Hi, Cool chart. I have only one question. How you can track which user comes from Facebook which from searches and which from other sources? Does Facebook provide IMEIs? or how to do that. This is a problem I am facing for a very long time. Thx