Playable ads are not exactly new. They debuted around four years ago as a dynamic way to convince players to try out new video games.
The ads were of course interactive, letting users get a feel for how the game works before they hit the download button. After a lot of testing, Facebook is now finally ready to roll out playable ads by launching its own version across all platforms.
Rick Kelly, Facebook's VP of gaming, said in an interview with GamesBeat that advertisers will now be able to release playable ads for their games. He says these kind of ad campaigns are much more effective when it comes to luring users because they give them a better idea of what the game is all about.
What is more, players are more likely to play a game after downloading it because it is something they already liked.
One of the reasons why Facebook is allowing companies to use playable ads is because it has gotten more difficult to stand out in such a crowded app market.
"With 6 million apps on the app stores, it's super hard to get discovered. Companies are shifting from volume to quality users, and it's imperative we give them the tools to do that," said Kelly.
How Playable Ads On Facebook Work
Facebook's own iteration of playable ads is slightly different than others. The company first displays a video of the game in action before demonstrating interactivity.
It is also compatible with HTML5, which is basically the most common language on the mobile web at the moment.
"The result is a more rich experience," said Kelly.
Are Playable Ads Effective?
Certain game companies such as Bagelcode and Rovio are already seeing positive results thanks to playable ads. Bagelcode saw a 3.2 times improvement in return on ad spend on Android and a 1.4 times improvement on iOS. Rovio, meanwhile, saw a higher click-through rate and a "70 percent lift in day seven return on ad spend" in early tests.
The functionality is rolling out to all advertisers starting Aug. 1, so users can expect to see some playable ads showing up in the news feed sooner rather than later.
On a slightly different note, Google also has a similar feature called Instant Apps, which allows users to access the core features of certain apps without installing them on their mobile devices. Plus, some of the free-to-play titles on the Play Store have playable advertisements stuffed into their experiences.