Google has begun to encroach on Facebook’s advertising revenue by allowing Android users to download apps directly from search results.
The capability has yet to roll out to all Android users, however it is already apparent that it could pose a huge threat to Facebook’s mobile app install ads.
The app install ads are understood to make up a significant part of the social media company’s broader mobile ad business, with Business Insider Intelligence research suggesting that mobile app-install ad revenue will likely grow to $6.8bn by the end of 2019.
By making it easier for users to discover and download apps directly from search results, rather than the Play Store, app developers will have less incentive to invest money in advertising on Facebook and could begin to reconsider how they allocate the ad revenue.
The changes are part of a wider strategy from Google to tap into the highly lucrative $6.8bn market. Recently it began allowing users to stream app content from search results without downloading an app. It also launched "trial run ads" that let users test out an app for 60 seconds without having to install anything.
Facebook will still hold sway with app developers because it can more effectively target adds to users based on the wealth of information the social media platform holds on them.