Facebook Ads Dominate the Mobile App Market


  • Facebook Ads are still the most preferred for mobile apps according to find outs by AppsFlyer for a study conducted in the second half of last year. The ads are loved for their performance in gaming, the report finds. AppsFlyer provides marketing analytics and mobile attribution. Google Ads performed better in non-gaming apps which likely points to Google’s model of ‘search intent.’

  • Apple Search Ads, AppLovin, Chartboost, Unity Ads, Vugle, IronSource, Liftoff, and AdColony were among the top ten networks in the company’s ranking. ROI metrics varied greatly for all the ad platforms with Snapchat coming fourth place in non-gaming and number 12 in casual games.

  • Mobile fraud was still at 30% all over the world with app installations being the most affected. Consequently, they affect how marketers make decisions and allocate their budgets. The growth in fraud towards the end of the year, 2018, caused app installs driven by affiliates to drop by 12%. Generally, though, app installs increased by 32%.


The research by AppsFlyer shows that Google and Facebook are at the top of the market when it comes to digital ads and they have kept that ranking in mobile app marketing as well. Snap and Apple Search Ads have grown considerably in categories like e-commerce and shopping, but the two were still behind Google and Facebook Ads in rank. Google Ads saw a 190% growth in their share in-app retargeting, but Facebook Ads again topped the list being famous for letting marketer reach customers efficiently.

Of all categories, games were number three in popularity after shopping and social media, according to different research by Newzoo. They remain ripe as an opportunity that marketers can harness. It appears that mobile gamers are more positive about advertising. 53% of them say that ads are the reason they get updates for products they want which is 9% more than the number for non-gamers. Close to 45% of gamers admit to being more likely to use brands whose ads they like as opposed to the 32% of non-gamers asked the same question.

Of all ads used in games, AppLovin was number three, coming behind Google Ads and Facebook Ads to make the marketing platform significant competition for install campaigns. IronSource increased its market share 200% to surpass Unity Ads and become the fourth in the rankings. Nevertheless, Unity Ads was position four in the overall ranking for the gaming category.

Ad fraud is still a problem that is costing app marketers a lot of money. However, it is possible that IAB Tech Lab efforts will yield favorable results in combating fraudulent activity. The company released the final version for the anti-fraud code that will hopefully set the industry in the right direction.


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