Facebook’s new ad suite targets mobile game developers

New targeting options and ad formats will allow developers to focus on user retention.

Facebook has unveiled three new ad solutions, which are targeted primarily at mobile game developers and the agencies advertising them.

The first new solution is playable ads, which will let users play a small portion of a game in the Facebook app. Facebook said this new unit is based on the insight that people often want to test out a game before they install it. This will also enable game advertisers to drive what Facebook calls “higher-intent installs,” as people who have tested the game and then downloaded it are more likely to re-engage with the game over time. One ad tester, Bagelcode, tested playable ads and saw more than a 320% return on ad spend on Android and a 140% return on ad spend on iOS.

Meanwhile, game apps that gain revenue through in-app ads can benefit from a “retention optimization” option, which will allow them to target their Facebook ads at users who are most likely to use the app more often. For these apps, Facebook said, it’s crucial to connect with potential players who are most likely to engage with the game over time, so it can target those users based on behaviours and demographics.

Users are measured based on two-day and seven-day retention rates. According to Facebook, the more seven-day retained users that a game has, the less cost per play. The new product also allows advertisers to target people more likely to fall into this cohort.

Finally, Facebook will allow for more optimization based on business goals and KPIs, such as targeting people who are more likely to make in-app purchases and how much they’re willing to spend. Facebook is also introducing a bidding system based on minimum return on ad spend, allowing advertisers to set a minimum spend to find the players most likely to make in-app purchases when buying ads. They can also use this tool to eliminate ad spend that targets players less likely to spend in-app.