San Francisco-based mobile analytics startup Apsalar got some plum access to Facebook’s new ad network for promoting mobile apps. The company can now help developers see in real-time how their spending on Facebook ads is affecting downloads of their mobile apps.
Apsalar’s marketing tool ‘Campaign Source Insights’ lets developers see where their users are coming from — whether that’s a regular mobile banner ad network or a another developer that works with them as a cross-promotion partner. It also measures how much users from all of these sources are spending so that a developer can see where the most valuable users are coming from.
After shying away from monetizing its mobile apps and network for years, Facebook has come into the market in a very big way over the last six months. Not only is the company showing ads in the mobile news feed, it launched a mobile install network that’s meant to drive users to third-party apps. The mobile app install ads let developers buy tiles that promote their apps in the Facebook mobile news feed. When tapped, these instantly open the Apple App Store or Google Play market where users can download apps (see below).
While there’s no way to tell how large this revenue stream could get, other third-party companies like Tapjoy managed to get to a $100 million annual revenue runrate from driving paid downloads of apps.
“Facebook is clearly a social powerhouse. They have 1 billion users,” said Apsalar CEO Michael Oiknine. “My prediction is Facebook is going to kill it with mobile install ads. They’ll do very well.”
Oiknine is a founder that’s had years of experience with analytics. His previous analytics company Kefta was acquired by marketing giant Acxiom. When he rolled out Apsalar last year, the company offered fairly detailed types of reporting including cohort analysis, which tells you how well you’re retaining users who joined at different points in time. That makes it easy to see whether an app update helped engage users who join later.
The company also got into behaviorally targeted advertising recently by letting developers swap in promotions for different users. Users who tend to spend more might see one kind of deal or ad, while users who play for free might have a different experience inside a mobile game.
Apsalar has raised at least $5.8 million funding from Thomvest Ventures, Battery Ventures and DN Capital. It faces competitors like Flurry, Medio and Localytics.