Facebook, Google and Apple are the top drivers of mobile app installs

Greg Sterling on
  • Categories: Channel: Mobile Marketing, Facebook: Mobile, Google: AdWords, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Twitter
  • Facebook and Google AdWords are still the top media sources driving mobile app installs, but Apple Search Ads is on the rise, according to AppsFlyer’s latest performance index (registration required). The rankings are based on 6 billion installs from the first half of 2017 and are organized by region and operating system into gaming and non-gaming categories.

    In terms of overall performance for volume and retention, Facebook and Google AdWords remained the top two channels globally(versus 2016). However, Apple Search Ads has risen dramatically; it now ranks 3 and 4 in the global non-gaming and gaming categories.

    AppsFlyer also said that Apple Search Ads were number 1 in the iOS index “with a 30 percent higher ARPU and a 40 percent lower price than the other networks in this index.”

    Twitter was also a significant source of app downloads. The site came in at number 4 in the non-gaming category and number 10 in gaming. Similarly, the dominance of Facebook and Google as channels was reportedly greater in the non-gaming category than in gaming:

    The superiority of the social and search powerhouses was far more pronounced in non-gaming than in gaming. In fact, their share of installs in non-gaming was 70 percent higher than their share in gaming. When looking at operating systems, their share on Android was almost 50 percent higher than on iOS.

    The rankings vary somewhat by region, category and operating system. But the two charts I’ve included here show the rankings across both Android and iOS on a global basis.

    In addition to including a range of variables, the AppsFlyer rankings seek to control for “app install fraud,” which the company says will cost advertisers an estimated $2.2 to $2.6 billion this year.

    About The Author

    Greg Sterling
    Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.