TapSense offers complete app downloads from mobile ads

TapSense, mobile advertising

TapSense, a mobile app marketer, is rolling out new ad units that let people initiate and complete an iOS app from a mobile ad. That’s in contrast to similar ad units that take a user out to Apple’s App Store to complete the download. TapSense said its ad units are the first to take advantage of new capabilities in iOS 6. And they offer the potential for better conversions for advertisers, who want to get better distribution and downloads for their apps.

When a user sees a TapSense interstitial ad and chooses to download an app, they call up a page that recreates an App Store page with details, reviews, ratings and images. One more tap on an “install” button and the app begins an automatic download. The user, who has never left their original app, can then continue on where they left off. Another version of the new ads also allow users to share the promoted app on Facebook, and via text message and email.

The App Store ads specifically call the “SKStoreProductViewVontroller” in iOS 6, which allows developers to recreate the App Store environment. Previously, this functionality was limited to Apple’s iAd ads, which also had higher conversion rates because of its integrated App Store, said George Kennedy, co-founder chief evangelist of San Francisco-based TapSense.

TapSense, mobile advertisingKennedy said the App Store ads are in beta and will take a while to roll out fully as more consumers upgrade their devices to iOS 6. But he said early results show they are converting at a rate three to five times better than normal ads.

“The less friction there is between seeing what you want and getting it, results in more conversions,” said Kennedy.

Apple recently appeared to be clamping down on some app recommendation apps that promoted other apps in a manner that could be confused with the Apple’s App Store. Kennedy said the new language in clause 2.25 in the developer guidelines applies to apps that mimic the App Store, not apps or ads that use iOS 6 to officially recreate the App Store experience.

TapSense currently works with advertisers including Trulia, HotelTonight, Poshmark, Pocketgems, and Tiny Co. TapSense focuses on placing ads in top 40 apps and optimizes campaigns in real time to target loyal users, who will return to an app after downloading it. TapSense competes against Google AdWord and AdMob.

TapSense was founded last year by Kennedy, a former InMobi global marketing director; Ashwani Kumar, head of smartphones at InMobi; and Amit Manjhi, a former software engineer at Google. The company came out of stealth mode several months ago and has received seed funding from early AdMob investors.

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