To download or not to download? That is the question consumers ask when they see a new app or game. Even if the download is free, no one wants to waste their time with a poorly made or boring game. Written text is fine but screen shots are usually the ingredient that pushes them one way or the other. But what’s better than a screenshot? How about a video that shows the app in action?
Facebook just gave app developers the ability to place a video trailer above the fold on their app’s page. Just like video ads in the newsfeed, app center videos will begin to play as soon as someone hits the page. The sound will be muted until the person clicks the video which is actually a little confusing. I can see consumers everywhere switching their headphones on and off wondering why they can’t hear anything.
Videos can be added through the developer app dashboard but must be approved by Facebook before going live. There are a few rules but they’re reasonable:
- Clearly represent the purpose of the application and portray accurate, relevant in-app experiences.
- Keep your video high-quality and high-resolution. It should not be distorted or pixelated.
- Include the name of your app in your video
- Your video and its video cover image should be clear and recognizable; Do not include advertisements, excessive text or URLs.
- Comply with our Facebook Branding Standards and Content Standards.
Some of the sample videos do include marketing statements such as “2013 Best Fishing Game of the Year.” Here’s one for Marvel: Avengers Alliance. Here’s the trailer for the insanely popular Candy Crush Saga.
I’ve been avoiding that game but the trailer does make it look fun and inviting.
If you have an international audience, you can upload customized trailers that will load based on the users chosen location. A very nice feature.
After looking at a few pages with trailers, I clicked on one without and wow – what a difference. Screenshots just don’t pull you in the way a video does. It’s bright, colorful, dynamic and . . . done right. . .it makes you feel like you’re playing the game right now. If it’s a great game (or app), you’ll want to continue playing with the video is over. Just a short slide of the mouse and the app is yours.
Nice move, Facebook. Six gem stones and a bonus upgrade to you.