Twitter Introduces Facebook-Style App Install Ads

Twitter hopes to make money on app install ads, which has proven to be a successful strategy for Facebook.

Twitter Introduces Facebook-Style App Install Ads

Twitter is pulling a Facebook.

No, I’m not referring to the company’s recent profile page redesign. (Via Twitter / @weezer, Facebook / Weezer)

Twitter is launching app install ads. You might not recognize the term, but we bet you’ve seen them.

On Facebook, they look like this. The ad is the focus, but there is a button for further engagement. In this case, booking through HotelTonight.

And this is Twitter’s take. It’s similar. There’s the tweet and button prompting users to download the app being promoted.

You might think, why not just tweet a download link for free? Well, a brand could do that, but the tweet would only go to its followers.

But think about the many apps available. Getting your app in front of a user’s face — even for a second — might spur an unexpected download. More importantly, they work. (Via Facebook)

​One of the Beta testers for Twitter’s new service is an app called GetTaxi. Its VP of Global Marketing says of the ads, "Twitter has jumped to be our number one acquisition channel … The engagement rates are remarkable."

BuzzFeed reports Facebook served 245 million app install ads by the end of 2013.

Mark Zuckerberg told The New York Times in January,  "We’re finding that people also really want to buy a lot of app install ads, and that’s grown incredibly quickly and is one of the best parts of the ad work that we did over the last year."

So it’s no surprise, Twitter wants a piece of that business. Problem is, Facebook has about four times the users Twitter has.

That’s why Twitter is launching its ad service with MoPub, a mobile ad exchange it bought last fall. It says MoPub reaches more than 1 billion devices. Sound familiar, Facebook?

Until now, Twitter hasn’t combined the services. The Wall Street Journal says advertising on Twitter before this move "was clunky and annoying. The new setup would put all the tools in one place, making it easier to track and compare campaign results, spend and effectiveness."

​It calls the combo service Twitter's "Publisher Network." Most outlets agree, this is a good move for Twitter.

But Re/code points out a potential snag. It says Twitter is playing up its integration with MoPub. "MoPub has already been selling app ads, and it hasn't replicated Facebook's success, so there may be less impact there than Twitter would like."