The social network has announced the ability for brands to target Facebook mobile app install ads – which appear on the News Feed – based on the particular OS its users have, such as Android or iOS.

The update was announced yesterday (27 March) via a post on Facebook’s official developer blog and comes in the wake of Google phasing out the ability to target specific mobile OS users with its AdWords Enhanced Campaigns update.

“You can also target devices using a Wi-Fi connection. This is helpful if, for example, you are interested in connecting with iPad users that only have Wi-Fi access or prefer using Wi-Fi for data usage,” reads the update.

Also included in the update is the ability to tailor mobile app install ads via its Facebook Ads Create Tool.

Facebook is promoting the development as a key way for brands to promote their mobile apps in the notoriously competitive mobile app outlets Apple App Store and Google’s Play – both of which contain more than 800,000 apps.

“App install ads can be used to achieve massive reach in the millions, or super targeted, e.g. women in Birmingham with Android phones who like cycling,” reads the post announcing the update.


Ronan Shields

While this update may seem minor, what’s significant is the capability to target specific OS users at scale giving it a key advantage over Google in terms of targeting.

While Google’s AdWords Enhanced Campaigns update was welcomed by many in the advertising industry, some saw it as an an attempt to promote its own Android ecosystem over Apple’s iOS (which many brands prefer).