In the last week, Facebook and Twitter have announced separate initiatives to aid brands in having their apps discovered the intensively competitive Apple App Store and Google’s Play.
Most recently, Twitter announced its deep-linking Cards which let developers “close the loop between content creation… and app downloads” by letting users tap a link and download the brand’s mobile app directly (see image below).
Given that Twitter is keen to emphasise how many of its users access the interest network via mobile devices, then this development poses a serious route to market for marketers looking to drive downloads of their flagship apps. For the alternatives, are often hit and miss according to many sources I speak to.
Apparently, many agencies out there say they have the know-how to get a prospective client’s app ranked in the first page of the respective stores.
But most of my more reliable contacts tell me these claims are either reliant on a ‘friend that works for Apple’ or just complete hogwash.
Apple and Google are both extremely wary of being ‘gamed’ by third party agencies, so I have to doubt there’s a simple algorithmic method of ranking highly in either of these outlets.
Similar to Twitter, at the end of last month Facebook made another improvement to its app targeting tools, giving brands an extra opportunity to improve visibility of their mobile apps beyond the various App Stores.
What’s interesting about all these developments is that they come in the wake of Google phasing out the ability to target specific mobile OS users with its AdWords Enhanced Campaigns update.
Google has claimed this update was introduced to accommodate multi-device search.
But again, my sources tell me that it also conveniently limited the ability of advertisers to specifically target iOS users – which are apparently more desirable than Android users.
If Facebook and Twitter can enable brands to target their mobile apps towards smartphone users at scale then Apple and Google may have inadvertently handed them a very lucrative slice of the mobile advertising market.