Facebook is opening up Audience Network to interactive gaming ads

Playable ads appear in a natural break in game play and look to drive app installs

Looking to capture more mobile gaming dollars, Facebook is bringing interactive playable ads to its Audience Network.

Facebook brought the ad formats, which allow users trial a "lite" version of a mobile game, to its news feed in August. The social giant said that people who installed an app after testing it in a playable ad were 60% more likely to actually open their new mobile game, compared to installations from non-playable ads.

To continue this momentum, Facebook is making playable ads available in both rewarded video and interstitial formats through Audience Network.

Facebook is also introducing new measurement tools for playable ads to see when a user starts engaging with a playable ad, how actively they're engaging with the ad, and to track outbound traffic. Facebook said this will help advertisers track "drop-off points" to improve game play.

Paulina Klimenko, senior vice-president of corporate development at mobile adtech firm PubMatic, said these metrics are only relevant to game developers advertising within an app, so brand advertisers should be looking at different metrics, such as viewability and completion.

To help scale up this offering, Facebook is will offer zip file and vertical video support that, ideally, will let advertisers use existing playable files that they already use off Facebook on the platform.

The new metrics and zip file and vertical video support will be available in in the coming weeks, according to Facebook.

Overall, Facebook said that 57% of mobile developers think in-app ads can improve user retention without detracting from the game experience.

"Many gaming developers need to strike a careful balance between preserving the user experience in-game and their monetization needs. The rewarded video format, as well as playable ads, represent that less-invasive and highly engaging format," Klimenko added.

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