19 May Google announces Firebase Analytics & Universal App Campaigns updates for app developers
The company says it has driven more than 2 billion app installs from ads, putting it on par with Facebook.
At I/O on Wednesday, Google made several announcements for app developers looking to market and promote their apps with Google, including a new analytics platform for app developers.
The company also touted Universal App Campaigns — the campaign type that launched a year ago to enable developers to run ads across Google properties and networks with one campaign set up in either AdWords or the Google Play Developer Console — for helping Google become a competitor in the app install ad market, despite being late to the game. The number of app installs driven by ads more than doubled in the past year, the company announced, generating more than two billion app downloads. That puts Google in line with Facebook, which noted at this year’s F8 developer conference that ads on its platforms have driven two billion app installs. (Let the stat battle begin.) App install ads have become big business; eMarketer estimated advertisers spent $3 billion on app install ads in the US alone last year.
Firebase Analytics: a brand-new app analytics platform
Google’s Cloud Platform business acquired Firebase in 2014, and it’s now being relaunched as Google’s new, free developer platform with a suite of products. Firebase Analytics will be part of the new Firebase platform.
The analytics piece is designed to track the engagement metrics and in-app actions that developers care about — average revenue per user, lifetime value and so on. It will pull in data from AdWords and more than 20 other ad networks. For AdWords, developers can feed conversion data captured in Firebase Analytics back into AdWords for campaign optimization when the accounts are linked.
Firebase Audiences integrates across all aspects of the Firebase platform to allow developers to group users together for message and ad targeting.
Universal App Campaigns for iOS
Universal App Campaigns have only been available to run ads on Android. Now in beta, iOS developers can target users on YouTube, the Google Search App and the Google Display Network.
New placements on YouTube & Gmail
Universal App Campaigns can already run across search, YouTube, AdMob, mobile sites in the Display Network and Google Play. Google announced that app ads will now “reach more users on YouTube” and will soon be available in the ad slots at the top of the Promotions tab in the mobile Gmail app.
Automated targeting & bidding
With the 80/20 rule shown to apply to app users — 85 percent of app revenue comes from 17 percent of users, according to a RadiumOne study — Google is currently testing automated ad targeting and bidding in Universal App Campaigns to reach users most likely to take the actions that advertisers have prioritized. Universal App Campaigns currently offer a cost-per-install (CPI) bidding model in which advertisers set a CPI target and Google optimizes to that.
“Our models evaluate countless signals and unique insights into intent, and constantly learn and adjust, meaning every single optimization is based on the freshest, most relevant data,” explained Sissie Hsiao, product management director for mobile app ads in the blog post outlining these changes.
The automated optimization is in testing now, and Google says it will roll out in the coming months.