iOS Ad Shared to Android User Directs to App Store

February 26, 2018 • 1 min read

Jon Frisby

Head of Engineering


This post explores the user journey for a mobile app install ad on Facebook.

You’re running ads for your mobile app, let’s call it MyBestApp. Living up to its name, MyBestApp is, in fact, the best. And of course, your ads for the app are also amazing.

You want to show separate ads for iOS and Android users, partly because you’re required to on Facebook, but also because you know different ads perform differently for the use groups.

Facebook decreases the cost for ads when the relevance score is higher, which is a measurement of engagement with the ad. This means Facebook is incentivizing you to make ads that are really interesting.

But what happens when someone actually shares the ad?

Let’s say that Sally sees your ad for MyBestApp. Sally has an iPhone, but her friend Dan has an Android. Sally knows that Dan would love MyBestApp, so she shares the Facebook ad with him.

Ideally, since Facebook already knows that Dan is on an Android phone and Facebook has the Android URL, Dan would get directed to the Google Play store. But where does he go instead? The App store.

That’s right. You’re incentivized to make ads so interesting that people share them, but when they do, you’re seeing link clicks on Facebook and no installs from those devices. And since Facebook charges by impression, this means you’re paying for those views, too.

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When iOS users share a Facebook ad with Android users, they’re still going to the app store.

By using deep links for each of your ads, you’re guaranteed to have the people who click on your ads sent to the correct store. Link click counts on Facebook will FINALLY match the numbers you’re seeing outside of Facebook.

Now, before you feel like we’ve just given you an insurmountable task in Power Editor. The good news is that we’re here to help! With the Lightning AI platform, you can add all of your deep links from Branch with a click of a button (…and your Branch API key).

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