Facebook gives game developers new ad options within Audience Network

  •   September 22, 2019

Facebook is introducing new ad options for mobile gaming advertisers, now making rewarded video and playable ads for game apps available via its Audience Network. Advertisers are also getting new metrics to see how their playable ads are performing and a new way to create playable ads that simplifies the process.

Rewarded Video in Audience Network. Gaming advertisers will now have access to rewarded video ads — a video ad unit that offers players incentives like extra lives or in-game currency to watch the ad — in Facebook’s Audience Network, allowing them to monetize their apps beyond the platform.

Facebook said that over the coming weeks, game developers and publishers that do not already have access to these ad units should start seeing it as an option within their Facebook monetization manager dashboard. (To start using rewarded video ads, advertisers must download the latest version of Facebook’s Audience Network SDK.)

Facebook reports payouts from rewarded video ad placements in Audience Network increased more than eight-times during 2018.

Playable Ads in Audience Network. Playable ads, an ad unit that allows a user to “try-out” an app or game before downloading it, will also be available via its Audience Network. The playable ad units include both rewarded video and interstitial formats in the latest Audience Network SDK, and all playable ads delivered via Facebook’s Audience Network come with an intro card so that players can identify the game before it starts.

“With the rewarded playable format, the player can interact with the advertised game for 15 seconds to get the reward, with the ad unit’s call to action taking the player directly to the app store to install. With the interstitials playable format, players can interact with the playable ad or download the game after five seconds,” writes Facebook.

Facebook reports people who installed an app via a playable ad opened the app 60% more times and were six-times more likely to make an in-app purchase than people who installed the same app via another ad format.

New metrics and ad creation process. Facebook is rolling out three new metrics for playable Ads within its Ads Manager: Instant Experiences Clicks to Open, Instant Experiences Clicks to Start and Instant Experiences Outbound Clicks. The new metrics will give gaming advertisers more insight into the key “drop-off” points within an ad and are available to other campaigns implementing Instant Experiences and Lead Ads.

Advertisers will also have a new way to create playable ads on Facebook that involve zip file and vertical video support: “These updates give advertisers the ability to create higher-quality playable experiences of larger file sizes, and allow advertisers to easily use existing, off-Facebook playable files on Facebook and Audience Network.”

Why we should care. Facebook reports 33% of the publishers on its platform using a mix of in-app ads and in-app purchases said playable ads are already their most successful format, and 79% of developers using the same mix said rewarded video is their most effective format.

Now that gaming advertisers can use these ad formats via Facebook’s Audience Network, it opens a whole new channel of monetization opportunities.

“When Audience Network offered us playable ads, we were excited about the opportunity and the results did not disappoint. For our app ‘Color by Number,’ CPMs on rewarded video increased by 107%,” said X Flow’s head of product and monetization Roman Poleshchuk, “Additionally, the user experience is great as the design informs users when an ad is playable.”

James Woodmansey, head of acquisition for Playdemic, said his company’s playable ad placements have experienced a 46% drop in cost-per-impression and a 20% increase in ROI.