The Four Pros & One Con you need to know about Facebook’s new In-App Purchase Ads

Tip of the Iceberg

Facebook is launching In-App Purchase ads which will be hugely valuable to mobile marketers trying to connect marketing budgets to ROI and trying to increase that ROI.

When a person taps on a mobile app install ad on Facebook, the developer can choose to send them to a specific place in their app after it’s downloaded, such as a product page rather than the homepage. This will make mobile app ads more effective for achieving a developer’s goals beyond the install, and provide people with better experiences by taking them to the content that attracted their attention in the ad.


In-App Purchase (IAP) ads deeplinked to the right product page will become the default for most mobile ads. Driving the install will be like having a user hit a splash page on the web- very low value in and of itself. Your job as a marketer is to drive value and then prove that you drove that value. IAP adds do exactly that.

But Facebook is just the tip of the iceberg. The entire mobile ecosystem including every viral channel, every niche network and every AdMob, Millennial or Tapjoy sized elephant will allow for IAP ads, and not only allow for them but be eager for them. They can charge developers more money when they can clearly articulate the value they bring.

Here’s five facts, four pros and one con, you need to consider when it comes to implementing Facebook’s IAP ads.

PRO: Your job as a marketer gets easier.
There’s basically two kinds of marketers. Those who use big words, over quote Seth Godin and are terrified that someday people may actually be able to track the value they add to their organization and those who are working smart and hard trying to crank up their numbers.

If you’re good at your job, IAP ads are awesome. Easily connect your marketing dollars to your revenue like never before. ROI is no longer a question mark. There’s a direct correlation between your marketing budget and the bottom line.

PRO: Understand the value of your app.
What are the specific products, features or offers that are connecting with consumers? Facebook’s IAP adds let you zero in and drill down on what works.

Instead of using nebulous hipster stock photography to drive non committed window shoppers to your app, the new IAP ads allow you to drive downloads directly tied to revenue. Reduce ambiguity, and increase clarity by seeing exactly what offers you provide that drives downloads from committed customers.

PRO: Measurably reduce day one churn.
At Tapstream we have talked extensively about the challenges of new user retention. Our day one retention report released last year helped illustrate why.

You can reduce churn by accelerating the pace of value discovery. The higher the ratio of time spent/to value received: the more likely you are to keep a user content. Content users are more likely to open apps. Open apps are more likely to drive purchase conversions. Reducing day one churn has a direct impact on mobile marketing ROI.

PRO: Facilitate incentivized installs.
Use custom in app landing pages to reward new downloads from specific channels. Historically every app user had an identical first run experience. It was the same entrance to the same bar for every customer. Of course that’s not how the web, or the real world exists.

VIP guests should be treated accordingly. New customers who’ve engaged with your brand based on specific campaigns should be treated accordingly. IAP adds allow you to connect new users not just to specific product pages, but to offer redemption pages. For example an add for “20% off your first purchase” can be redeemed by new customers driven to download the app by that offer, without compromising the first run experience of every other user.

CON: It only works on Facebook.
Facebook’s IAP ads are a huge step for the mobile marketing industry. Prove your mobile ROI and increase your mobile ROI. These are the two big goals of every mobile marketer and being able to better achieve those on Facebook is very helpful. Unfortunately these solutions aren’t applicable across all the channels that make up a sophisticated marketer’s map for success. Great tools that only work some of the time loose some of that greatness.

Thankfully, Tapstream has made IAP ads work across every other network using our  Onboarding Links. We’ve unified the scalability of standard deep links and paired them with the power of deferred deep links resulting in a cross device, cross network experience that delivers on FB’s IAP ad promise on every other channel.  Right now we can just see the tip of the iceberg, but the sheer size of the opportunity is massive- and lurking just beneath the surface.