Appsfire announced today the release of their second native mobile app ad format – Ura Maki – which they hope will revolutionize the mobile AdTech space and the way mobile users discover new apps. As is to be expected with Appsfire, who recently announced they would shift focus away from their B2C app discovery app in order to double-down on their Mobile SDK for mobile developers, the mobile ad format is anything but invasive. Users are warned of the impending ad with a timer, and the ad appears as an interstitial (that is, it takes up the whole screen) in which the app that the user is currently user is seen side-by-side with the promoted app in a view that resembles the multitask screen.
Earlier this week we listed Appsfire as one of the startups to watch in 2014 for Mobile AdTech disruption; this second native ad format (the first was called Sushi) show just how focused the team is on getting mobile ads right. They’ve certainly hit the nail on the head – mobile ads today suck – and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Appsfire come out with a dozen different ad formats in 2014 in order to test which formats perform well. The key advantages I see from Appsfire ads are:
- They only push ads you haven’t downloaded (deep link integration with the app store, anybody?)
- They use existing app store creatives, so advertisers can start advertising in just seconds.
- They’re focused on the User & the Publisher – a happy user is a happy publisher, and a happy publisher is a happy advertiser. Not the other way around.
I’ve been a bit skeptic on whether mobile app ads for other mobile apps isn’t just a circle-jerk of the mobile app ecosystem, and if the real problem isn’t that mCommerce hasn’t caught up with eCommerce – given that most current desktop display ad publishers are eCommerce players, it would seem relevant; however, I’m sure I could’ve easily made the same argument when Google began serving website links as ads to users on other websites – perhaps the two problems are independent. On the one hand, app publishers need to figure out how to make user acquisition cost less than lifetime user value, and on the other hand mobile ad formats need to be engaging and relevant enough to convert.
Whether or not users want to be recommended other apps while they’re checking the weather remains to be seen; however, Appsfire is doing its best to make mobile ads be as un-disruptive to the user experience, and they are betting on this lack of disruption as being the key to total disruption of the archaic mobile banner ad format that dominates the landscape today.
The current ad format is only available for iOS, but is set to release for Android in 2014.