Facebook showcased a deep commitment to the mobile ecosystem at its F8 developer conference last week, revealing a whole host of new tools and programs. With these initiatives, Mark Zuckerberg emphasized, the company will focus on “putting people first.”
But what’s in it for startups, exactly? Here are four of the new features and how developers and brands can take advantage of them.
1. Audience Network = Access to More Customers. With the Audience Network expansion, advertisers can now extend their Facebook campaign reach into other mobile apps, tapping into network’s sophisticated hyper-targeting and reporting capabilities. For startups, this means you can quickly and inexpensively test messaging, evaluate performance and, ultimately, scale across platforms. Advertisers who want to drive app installs or app engagement can apply for beta access here.
2. Send to Mobile = More Users (Maybe). Do you have a website with active users but not sure how to tell them about your recently launched app? You can now deliver push notifications to existing desktop users who have logged into your site with Facebook, prompting them to download your mobile app and allowing you to generate more web-to-mobile conversions. Be careful, though, not to harass your users with too many notifications or you may lose them altogether.
3. Message Dialog = More Engagement and Sharing. People can now send photos and links from your app through Facebook Messenger, facilitating direct conversations about your product and enhancing the experience within your app. For startups, this means it’s more critical than ever to make your app content compelling and share-worthy so you can leverage your existing users as a customer acquisition channel.
4. App-to-App Linking = Better Mobile Experience Across Apps. Facebook already uses deep-linking for its own mobile tools, but wants make it the standard across third-party native apps so they can interact with each other seamlessly. With the new tool, users can tap a link on one app and easily move to another app without the awkward stopovers on their phones’ web browsers. Why does this matter to startups? Whether you have a portfolio of mobile apps that you leverage to launch new ones, or you rely on advertisements for revenue, a more seamless experience means fewer drop-offs and increased engagement. According to Facebook, the functionality will be open source, hosted at AppLinks.org, making it easy for you to integrate smooth user processes into your mobile product.
Facebook’s reinvigorated focus on mobile means developers get improved support in building, growing and monetizing their apps, allowing startups greater opportunity to not only gain customers but also keep them engaged.