Facebook leads app install market share, but Google is rising fast

Mobile app marketers spend their budgets across a limited range of platforms -- with Facebook grabbing the lion's share or marketing dollars.

Despite Facebook's algorithm changes, which penalise many brand pages, app installs continue to generate marketing revenue for the platform.

AppsFlyer evaluated 250 media networks with a minimum of 50,000 attributed installs, and 8,200 apps. It analysed 14.5 billion installs and 25 billion app opens for its Appsflyer Performance Index report for the first half of 2018.

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It calculated the non-organic retention rate of each app per media source and per region every day for 30 days. It then calculated the organic retention rate of each app on a regional level and compared non-organic and organic retention rates.

Finally, it calculated a weighted average using a retention-based logic and calculated a network's overall weighted retention score per region.

The findings show that Facebook remains the No. 1 media source for mobile app marketers, with a staggering three out of four apps with marketing budget allocated running campaigns there.

Facebook leads app install market share-but Google is rising fast ZDNet
AppsFlyer

Facebook has top spots across all universal indexes, including the new category rankings.

Google ranks second in the index. It had a growth in its share of non-organic app installs, increasing by 23 percent worldwide.

The largest advancements were in the emerging markets of Latin America, India, and Southeast Asia, whilst gaining an increased market share in North America and Europe.

Its rise is the result of the Google's focus on mobile, and in particular its Universal App Campaigns (UAC). Google is definitely becoming more of a threat to Facebook's domination.

Less than two years after launching, Apple Search Ads is a mainstream media source coming in at No. 3 in the number of apps running on its platform.

Gaming is becoming more and more of a speciality, and gaming app marketers have a good idea of where to invest their budget. Gaming is dominated by Facebook, Google, AppLovin, and Apple Search Ads across all three gaming genres.

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Non-gaming has 50 percent more media sources used by these apps compared to gaming apps.

Snapchat is gaining ground in non-gaming, where it has jumped five spots to No. 4 in volume ranking and from 16th to eighth in the power ranking. In the ROI Index, Snap came in at No. 1 in the casual gaming category.

Overall, Snapchat's share in non-gaming has grown by 75 percent and in gaming by a third (36 percent). Most of this growth was driven by advances in India, Eastern Europe, and Australia.

Although Facebook dominates the shopping category, Google and Apple Search Ads follow by utilizing powerful search intent data -- a strong signal in shopping. Twitter and Liftoff performed well for shopping apps.

Mobile App install fraud has intensified. This is especially true for non-gaming apps with a four-times higher rate of fraud than gaming.

This could be that the relative lack of sophistication among non-gaming app marketers are being targeted more often than gaming ones.

It is going to be quite some time before Facebook is toppled from its number one slot. Other platforms have a lot of work to do.

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