Amid the endless array of companies offering to help developers get their apps discovered, Facebook has emerged as by far the most effective choice.

That’s according to the new AppsFlyer Performance Index released today in advance of the Mobile World Congress 2016 that starts next week in Barcelona. The mobile analytics company tracked 2.5 billion app installs between October 2015 and January 2016 to see which platforms and services were the most reliable marketing choices for app developers.

AppsFlyer measured app installs using a variety of metrics, including how platforms performed across different geographic regions, gaming vs. non-gaming apps, and how well apps retained users.

In almost every single measure, Facebook came out ahead.


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“Facebook is the undisputed leader in mobile advertising,” the report concluded. “A consistent placing in the global top 5 media sources for retention, coupled with its unrivaled scale, place the social giant #1 in the power rankings for every category and region among platforms included in the study.”

The report underscores the incredible success Facebook has had over the past two years in pivoting from its focus on desktop to mobile. In its most recent earnings report in January, Facebook said mobile advertising generated 80 percent of the company’s ad revenue, up from 69 percent the previous year.

(Editor’s note: Matt Idema, Facebook’s VP of Monetization Product Marketing at Facebook, who leads the company’s advertiser product marketing efforts, will be a participant at this year’s VentureBeat Mobile Summit April 4-5 in Sausalito, CA. The executive event is all about how to achieve significant mobile growth, and will feature several working sessions about effective mobile advertising)

While detailing Facebook’s continued rise on mobile, the report also highlighted Twitter’s challenges. According to AppsFlyer, Twitter provided app developers with high quality users via its app on Android, ranking 1 and 2 in gaming and non-gaming apps.

But because Twitter’s scale remains so small relative to Facebook, it only ranks 18 and 10 in gaming and non-gaming app installs overall, the report says.

Other findings of note:

  • Google AdWords ranks anywhere from number 2 to number 5 across most categories of mobile advertising for app developers. A solid performance, but also consistently behind Facebook.
  • In-app video advertising is becoming a critical ad strategy for app developers. App developers are much more likely to retain users who discover their app via a video ad, according to AppsFlyer.

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