What’s the Cost Per Mobile App Install on Facebook and Instagram?

Facebook and Instagram can be a gold mine for mobile app advertising. The volume of traffic is massive. Also, the cost per mobile app install (CPI) is often lower than competing traffic channels.

CPI is the cost of each individual consumer app download. This can help to determine the effectiveness of your install campaign. The formula used to calculate this number is straightforward: total ad spend divided by the number of app installs.

Advertisers frequently ask how much they should expect to pay per mobile app install ad on Facebook and Instagram. The answer is simple: anywhere from $0.25 to $100 CPI.


Cost Per Mobile App Install

But what causes the extreme variability in cost per mobile app install? That’s a little more complex. There are six primary factors that influence an advertiser’s CPI. Optimizing for each of these factors can dramatically reduce the CPT of your app install campaigns:


1. Cost Per Mobile App Install Verticals

An advertisers vertical is often the most important factor for determining CPI. With broader appeal comes a lower CPI, as Facebook ad costs fall when click-through rates and conversion rates increase. In the U.S., verticals like e-commerce tend to have a CPI between $0.50 and $3.00. Also, casual casino apps generally range from $2.00 to $15.00 CPI. In addition, MMORPG games will often see a CPI of +$20 on Facebook and Instagram.


2. Creative Optimization

The difference between optimized creative and poor-performing creative can cause a change in the CPI of 10x or more. After introducing breakout ad creative that’s been rigorously tested, we’ve seen advertisers go from $80 CPI to $3.00 CPI in a matter of days.


3. Workflow Automation and Rule-based Management

Many Facebook advertisers take advantage of software to automate their workflow and manage ads with rule-based management. By also using software to manage ads around the clock, advertisers can limit risk from ads that perform poorly. Finally, they can more easily scale top-performing ads. AdRules is a self-service platform that allows advertisers to automate their workflow and set up rule-based management of ads.


4. Attribution Windows

Advertisers often use different attribution windows to measure mobile app installs. For example, Facebook’s default attribution window includes a 1-day view and a 28-day click window. An advertiser will show a higher CPI by opting not to use view attribution. Instead, you can use a shorter click attribution window than 28 days or use last-click attribution (where Facebook uses any click attribution).


5. Geographies

The CPI by country is very different on Facebook and Instagram. The value of users by country varies as well. So, here are some of the main things to consider when valuing CPI by country:

  • Facebook vs Instagram User Value by Country
  • iOS vs Android Users in Different Countries
  • CPI in Different Territories or Regions of Large Countries

6. Cost Per Mobile App Install Audience Size

Advertisers generally notice a correlation between bigger audiences and lower CPI. Facebook’s algorithms can also more easily find high-quality users when the available audience is bigger, which leads to reduced costs.


Cost Per Mobile App Install – Final Thoughts

When done right, advertisers can acquire a wealth of new mobile app users with Facebook and Instagram advertising. In addition, our self-service ad management platform, AdRules™ is designed to optimize social performance for mobile app advertising and lead generation.

cost per mobile app install



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