AOL launches native app download unit

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AOL has jumped on the app install ad bandwagon, launching a new native mobile ad format for app publishers.

The new format will run across the mobile versions of its mobile sites and apps, such as TechCrunch, engadget, AOLMail and The Huffington Post, along with its network of 20,000 third party publishers.

As mentioned, AOL is also cashing in on the buzz around native mobile ads and says its new units are the “first launch for native in AOL platforms.” The ads themselves are in-stream and are designed to look like editorial content, but come with a “sponsored” label.

AOL’s director of mobile Chad Gallagher said:

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“These results from native aren’t surprising. Native advertising is a more interactive way of experiencing ads than a traditional banner ad at the bottom of a smartphone screen. This is another data point underscoring that brands and publishers alike are interested in premium ad experiences that complement the content on the device.”

AOL says early results show post-click conversion rates around six times higher compared to its banner ads and says its new native unit will reach 86 million users per month.

So, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube/Google and now AOL. The online big boys are all lining up to launch their own native app download products – a testament to both the success of Facebook’s original model and the continuing problem of app discovery. Who’s going to be next?