For the very first time, Google has surpassed Facebook in the total number of attributed installs for mobile apps after the search giant increased its share of the app install pie eightfold in the past five years, according to a report by mobile attribution and marketing analytics firm AppsFlyer.
The ninth edition of the AppsFlyer Performance Index also said that Facebook remains the top media source in the Index’s global power rankings, delivering high-quality users in most regions and categories. The social network also dominates iOS, driving the most non-organic installs on this platform across all global rankings except midcore gaming.
Google’s substantial growth in the reach of video and display placements can be attributed to the dominance of Android in the mobile market. From a regional perspective, Google’s growth in the pie was fastest in Latin America (+18%) and Southeast Asia (+8%).
Covering activity in the first half of 2019, the report draws on 520 media networks to examine 23 billion app installs, 15,000 apps, and 45 billion app opens. Categories surveyed included Shopping; Utilities; Lifestyle & Culture; and four groupings within Gaming.
Other top findings
AppLovin has established itself as the No. 3 player in Gaming, but IronSource is growing faster, increasing its share in the gaming app install pie by 32%, compared to AppLovin’s 10%.
Fraud continues to impact the rankings, but the good news is that the install share of fraudulent networks dropped by 60%, while clean sources grew by 25%.
And Apple Search Ads is rapidly growing, increasing its share in the global app install pie by 82%. It has plenty of untapped growth potential, as fewer than 20% of iOS apps run ads in the store. Most of Apple’s growth is due to the launch of Apple Search Ads in 42 additional countries and regions in the second quarter of 2019.
Leveraging powerful user intent signals, Apple Search Ads also improved its quality rankings across all categories. In the second half of 2018, Apple was among the top 6 quality players in half the categories in the Index. This time around, they made the top 6 across the board, including a top 3 placement in 60% of rankings, in both Gaming and Non-Gaming genres.
New names, new products, new opportunity
TikTok Ads, the advertising arm of video creation app sensation TikTok and TopBuzz news app, is making waves in the global install market. The Chinese giant’s share of the pie skyrocketed tenfold, growing across APAC, North America, and EMEA.
TikTok Ads has already broken into the Index top 10, and thanks to the huge growth of TikTok and TopBuzz, the platform’s burgeoning marketing capabilities look set to go from strength to strength in future Indexes.
“Looking back, we can see a persistent trend in the Growth Index. For most media sources, making the ranking is a one-time thing,” comments Shani Rosenfelder, head of mobile insights at AppsFlyer, in a statement. “That means maintaining growth in this hyper competitive space is very difficult, so companies must stay alert, recognize potential, and move fast to stay relevant. On a positive note, the fact that we see new companies with different types of products and qualities demonstrates that this industry has plenty of opportunities for those who can survive.”