Mobile app developers who promote through Facebook have long looked to app installs as a baseline number for how well their campaign is doing, but Facebook reportedly wants to move beyond that and start looking into how their campaigns can get developers the right installs, from users who will engage with, share, and grow the app in question and its bottom line. To that end, they're reportedly ditching the use of app installs as a metric entirely, and shifting toward measuring and working on revenue-heavy metrics like continual engagement that would drive ad revenue, or users dropping money on in-app purchases.
One way that they plan to do this is with a tool called 'app event optimization'. This tool rolled out back in 2016, and is tailor-made to show off the parts of apps most likely to generate installs that will stay active and not result in churn. The app hasn't been around for long, but has already managed to find itself in use by the developers of 80 of the top 100 apps in the Google Play Store. Developers can also use worldwide targeting and app re-marketing to expand and re-engage their audience, helping to capture potentially lost revenue from those who had uninstalled the app and could be coaxed into reinstalling it, and those who may have otherwise never heard of a particular app due to it originating outside their own country.
In 2016, Facebook helped drive about 2 billion unique app installs via their advertising program, and that number has reportedly continued to rise. Facebook still has a number of ad products aimed at driving app installs for those who are newer to the mobile app market or are looking to generate a huge install base, but their flagship product suites will soon begin changing focus to help developers push for users to take more action with their app. Their measurement metrics for developers' campaigns will reflect this. They haven't put out all the details of how they'll be measuring everything quite how yet, but a move to measuring active metrics like ad revenue, user engagement, IAP usage, and churn will help shift Facebook's campaigns for developers into a more active role.