The Future Of Dating Apps: Facebook Mobile Ads

Are You Interested (AYI)
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Facebook's ad strategy is a subject of major concern for investors. Advertisements are the site's principal driver of revenue and now that it's a public company, Facebook must satisfy investors as well as its own internal team.

The outlook has been grimmer than anticipated for all but one group of advertisers: dating apps.

In June 2013, the top 20 grossing iPhone apps in the social networking sphere included at least 13 dating apps. Facebook-integrated apps like Tinder, a new app that's taking the market by storm, are becoming increasingly popular among social networking-savvy singles. But as Tinder grows, some older apps, like Are You Interested, a freemium app that's been downloaded 70 million times in its 6-year history, are suffering.

AYI monthly users have dropped from 7.3 million in November 2011 to 3 million today. Only 80,000 people have signed up for AYI subscriptions so far, reports Forbes, and revenue was static for 2012. AYI needs a new strategy if it's going to leverage the 20 million Facebook users who have already synced their profiles to the app and stay on top of the competition. To reinvigorate the brand, AYI turned to Facebook's mobile app install ads.

AYI began a heavy marketing campaign on Facebook's mobile offering, and within a month saw 200% more downloads than the previous month. Because Facebook's mobile advertising is relatively inexpensive, AYI was able to conduct tests to find their most engaged audiences:

  • Canadian males & Brazilians of both genders aged 26-36
  • Finns over the age of 36
  • Americans over 30

And it's not just Facebook's impressive opportunities for market research that make it an ideal choice for marketers. Ads like those used by AYI no longer take users out of the Facebook app and into the app store to download, Users can install new apps directly from their newsfeed, which makes for an easier, more streamlined experience.

Some companies have a greater potential for Facebook ad success than others. Cliff Lerner, co-founder and CEO of Are You Interested, recommends Facebook mobile ads for companies that operate in multiple countries. Those companies, he believes, have the most to gain from the demographic testing that can be done on Facebook. He also advises targeting friends of people who have already installed the app and showing that connection to users who are more likely to download an app their friends are already using.

"Users don't behave differently on mobile but there's less competition for traffic right now and it's cheaper to acquire a user," Lerner says. Facebook's mobile offering may now be the hottest place for companies that rely on downloads to do business.