The Flash Platform is used to create a large amount of applications and content on the Web. One of the challenges that developers face after they have created applications is getting users to notice them and use them. The Distribution service helps solve this problem by providing ways to promote applications and content to users.
In the last few years we have seen a clear shift in how people use the Web – they are spending a lot of their time on social media sites and on mobile devices. The Distribution service was especially designed to promote applications to social media and mobile users.
How do you use the Distribution service?
1. Establish an account
Install the Distribution Manager (available here through the install badge) and login using your Adobe ID. If you don’t have an Adobe ID, create one here.
Find your partner ID in the lower right corner of the Distribution Manager
2. Add sharing to your application
Install the extension for your preferred authoring tool (Flash Professional, Flex Builder 3 or Dreamweaver). It is easy to make your applications sharable by adding the Share menu (tutorials).
Here is an example of a sharable application with the Share menu.
You can share your applications to over 70 destinations including Facebook, MySpace, iGoogle, mobile devices and the desktop. A complete list of the supported destinations is available here. Note that you will have to create native versions of your applications on mobile platforms where Flash is not supported.
3. Manage the application
Approximately 15 minutes after you’ve loaded the Share menu during your application testing, the application will appear in the Distribution Manager. Once your application appears in the Distribution Manager, there are 3 main activities you can perform (tutorials):
a. View the analytics
b. Earn money with your application by opting in to host cross-promotions
c. Assure installs for your application creating a new campaign
Here is a screenshot of the Distribution Manager with some analytics:
Who should use the Distribution service?
The Distribution service is broad enough to be used by anyone who is creating applications targeted towards social and mobile users. Advertisers, publishers and game developers will find the Distribution service particularly attractive.
Advertisers can use the Distribution service as part of an effective, predictable and scalable social media and mobile campaign. Advertisers are finding that branded applications are the most effective ad-unit on social media sites.These applications blend interesting content with an advertising message.
The Distribution service lets advertisers make their branded applications sharable on social, mobile, and desktop destinations. When users on social sites embed them on their pages, they are implicitly endorsing the brand to their friends. Their friends can then take this application and place it on their own pages or send it to their mobile devices. In addition to getting distribution through “earned media,” advertisers can use paid promotions to get guaranteed installs for their applications within the specified timeframe. Advertisers also get persistent real-estate on the user’s page and can push new messages. The Distribution service collects analytics data that advertisers can use to measure the success of their campaign.
With the growth of social media, online publishers have to find ways to go beyond their own web destinations to reach their audience on social networking sites and mobile devices. Publishers are increasingly letting consumers take pieces of their content to their social pages or mobile devices. An effective way of syndicating content is to build widgets and applications.
The Distribution service lets publishers syndicate their applications to more than 70 destinations, including Facebook, MySpace, iGoogle, desktops, and mobile devices. Once a consumer has installed an application on his or her social page or mobile device, the publisher can push new content to the consumer.
These applications often help publishers indirectly monetize the content by driving users back to the main website. To help publishers directly monetize their sharable content, the Distribution service has built in ad hosting. By turning on ad hosting, publishers can make money with their applications.
Game developers often distribute their games by listing them on game portals. This approach is effective but can miss the opportunity to get games to users via social networks and on mobile devices.
Game developers can use the Distribution service to make their games sharable distribute them on social media sites, mobile devices, and desktops. The Distribution service also provides ad hosting, which enables game developers to make more money. This ad hosting does not conflict with other advertising in the game, so game developers do not have to remove existing advertising. Finally, game developers can track distribution and engagement and use the data to improve the engagement and viral lift of the game.