Facebook attempts to woo developers with new mobile ads

Facebook has begun testing a new way for mobile app developers to grow their business, with an advertising unit designed to help developers reach and re-engage their users.


According to Facebook spokesperson Vijaye Raji, Facebook has begun testing the ad unit with a limited set of beta partners.


“Facebook has increasingly become a way for iOS and Android developers to grow their apps,” Raji wrote in a post on Facebook’s developer blog.


“In the past 30 days, we have sent people to the Apple App store and Google Play 146 million times, via clicks from channels such as news feed, timeline, bookmarks and App Center.”


“Mobile ads are an additional way to drive people to apps. When a person clicks on one of these ads, if they do not have the app installed they will be sent to the App Store or Google Play to get it.”


As Raji explained, designing, launching and monitoring your mobile app advertising campaign takes place within the App Dashboard.


From within the App Dashboard, you can choose your app and audience, set your budget, choose your payment method and start your campaign. You can then monitor your ad’s performance.


The ad’s reach, clicks, frequency and spend can be tracked through the dashboard, and the ads can take advantage of all of Facebook’s biographical, interest and device-targeting options.


This makes them far more flexible than Facebook’s Sponsored Stories, which advertisers can only target to friends of people who have already mentioned their brand or used their app.


This means developers won’t need an existing user base to advertise their apps.


However, Facebook could have a hard time rectifying its reputation, after admitting an estimated 8.7% of all of its active accounts are fake.


Facebook believes 4.8% of all accounts are duplicates, 2.4% are “user misclassified” accounts and 1.5% are “undesirable” accounts, which are used for malicious purposes such as spamming.


The total number of accounts is currently 955 million, which puts the number of fake accounts at about 83 million.


Meanwhile, New York-based online music start-up Limited Run has ditched Facebook after its research revealed an alleged advertising scam.


The company claims 80% of its online ad clicks on Facebook were generated from automated “bots”, not humans.


While testing Facebook’s advertising system, Limited Run said it could only verify that around 20% of the clicks were coming from users visiting its website.


Limited Run discovered most of the users clicking on its Facebook ads had JavaScript disabled, making them almost impossible to track with regular analytics software.


The company coded a custom-built page logger, and claims it found 80% of the Facebook clicks it was paying for came from bots.


Facebook’s advertising rates are based on the number of clicks a company’s ads receive.


Limited Run alleges the ads were not clicked by real individuals but rather by automated bots – internet software applications programmed to repeat automated tasks.


Facebook said it is investigating the claims.


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