Report: Facebook the top network for app-installs, Google, Apple follow

The top sites and networks for mobile app installs are, in order, Facebook, Google, Apple (Search Ads), Snap and Twitter. This changes somewhat by app category and geography but this is the hierarchy in North America according to the latest AppsFlyer Performance Index (registration required).

Facebook #1 overall, Snap most improved. Facebook remains the top network for mobile app installs overall. It’s also the ROI leader, while Snap saw the best improvement in ROI in the non-gaming category. Google is a strong number two in the majority of categories. Apple generally follows in the third position or fourth, though not in all categories. Twitter, Snap (as mentioned) and others rank highly depending on the category: gaming vs. non-gaming, etc.

The analysis is based on more than 20 billion installs during the second half of 2018. It also examined more than 11,000 apps across more than 350 media networks.

Fraud is high, Facebook and Google share flat. One of the more important findings, AppsFlyer said that app-install fraud remains high. Indeed, the company reports that 30 percent of all installs are fraudulent. AppsFlyer added that the affiliate model for app marketing is losing ground because it is more vulnerable to fraud.

AppsFlyer further reports that that although the perception is that Facebook and Google’s dominance and share of the app-install market are growing, their combined market share is large but flat. Especially in gaming, a number of networks (AppLovin, ironSource, Unity Ads, Vungle, Tapjoy) are growing and showing strength.

Why should you care. The report is useful to app marketers to better understand the networks and platforms to use to market their apps. Facebook, Google and Apple Search Ads are must-dos. After that marketers can be more selective.

The other important thing in the report to be aware of is app-install fraud. According to estimates, app developers are spending an average of 31 percent of their budgets on app marketing. Billions of dollars globally are thus being wasted because of widespread fraud. Choose your networks wisely.

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