Early tests show Android users respond better to mobile Facebook ads than iPhone users do

Initial tests of Facebook’s new mobile-only ad offering show Android users are more likely to click and take action on a brand’s page than iPhone users, leading to lower costs per fan.

Facebook ad optimization company TBG Digital has shared with us findings from a recent campaign for a leading U.S. retailer. Clickthrough rate on Android devices was about 55 percent higher than it was on iPhones. Conversion rate, or the percentage of users who click an ad and then also Like the page, was 12 percent higher on Android. Cost per fan was 1.51 times more on iPhone than Android.

  • Test of 698,996 impressions over a week for a leading US retailer
  • Android CTR was 1.303% compared to the iPhone CTR of 0.843%
  • Click to fan conversion rate was 12% higher on Android
  • CPCs on iPhone were 35% more than on Android
  • Cost per fan was 1.51 times more on iPhone

These results are in line with what Optimal, another Facebook ad services company, found in its recent mobile campaigns. According to Forbes, Optimal saw between 10 and 55 percent higher clickthrough rates on Android versus iPhone. Conversion rates were between 28 and 109 percent higher among Android users. Cost per fan was about 52 percent more on iPhone than Android. Optimal also says Android users took additional actions, such as viewing profile photos, Liking posts and commenting, more often than iPhone users did.

  • Test of four advertisers spending up to thousands of dollars on their campaigns
  • Android CTR was 1.41% compared to the iPhone CTR of 0.91% (in one campaign)
  • Click to Fan conversion rate was 98% on Android compared to 47% on iPhone
  • Cost per fan on Android was $1.06 vs. $1.61 on the iPhone
  • Effective cost per thousand people reached (known as eCPM) was $9 on Android compared to $6.52 for the iPhone

It’s unclear to what degree these differences are related to the mobile devices themselves or the people who use them. But since these groups seem to respond differently to ads in the feed, advertisers will be able to better optimize their campaigns if they run ads separately to Android and iPhone users, rather than targeting all devices together.

Overall, advertisers are finding mobile Sponsored Stories to be more effective than those on desktop. New ad units tend to have higher CTRs and lower CPCs when they first launch since there is some novelty for users and little competition driving up bid prices. Advertisers who begin mobile campaigns now are likely to see their dollars go a lot further than they would on desktop. Besides using mobile Sponsored Stories for page-Like campaigns, the new placement could be especially valuable for retail offers and mobile app promotion.

For now, mobile-only Sponsored Stories are available through the Ads API and Power Editor, not the self-serve dashboard. We’ve also heard Facebook is working on real-time location-based mobile ads, but the company has not confirmed this.

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