Facebook is continually changing its algorithms and developer offerings to ensure its users have a great experience on the social channel. In a recent update, the social media giant announced that it would be deprecating a few products from its developer offerings – including App Invites. But fret not, here’s how you can counter it.

The deprecation of App Invites

With the release of the Facebook SDK version 4.28.0, App Invites are going to be deprecated in 90 days. Indie game and app developers have time until February 5, 2018, to either build or buy a solution that fuels app invites for seamless user acquisition.  

App invites have served as a content-rich, personal way for app users to invite their Facebook friends to a mobile app. Facebook also offered analytics to measure the performance of invites to the app, to let app marketers and developers optimize their referral marketing campaigns.

Facebook app invites

Driving organic growth beyond Facebook   

Word of mouth marketing will continue to be one of the most effective ways to get more users for your app. According to a study by Nielsen, recommendations from friends and family are considered the most credible form of advertising – leading to higher conversions.

But it’s all about being able to turn your power users into advocates for your app. This includes not just asking them for a referral at the right time but also making it as easy as possible for them to send an invite to their circles.

GetSocial Smart Invites don’t just fuel social sharing of invites, but also offer a comprehensive in-app referral system that makes the most out of popular chat apps like WhatsApp, FB Messenger, SMS, Email, Kik, Kakao and more. It ensures the users are offered a number of ways to share in-app content or invites with their friends and family, in a seamless manner.

Here’s how UbiSoft’s Face Up Social Game is using Smart Invite to acquire more users every day:


Using Smart Invites to fuel referral campaigns, has led to 25% conversions for PocApp, for their game Castle Cats. But that’s not all! The game also sees a 2.5X increase in the D30 retention rates of these referred users, driving higher engagement rates as well.

Benefits of Smart Invites

1. Contextual deeplinking and deferred deeplinking

With contextual deeplinking, you get an additional functionality of storing information about the sender/ receiver of an invite, the invite channel used and other custom data. This allows you to push metadata through the app stores to create a highly personalized onboarding experience for your users.

2. Webhooks

Webhooks can provide real-time data for every app install event with contextual information. This helps in running effective referral marketing campaigns and keeping your proactive power users motivated.

3. Tracking and attribution

When you’re running a referral campaign, you need to track your performance closely. Using device fingerprinting technology, Smart Invites offer complete tracking and attribution. It offers insights into your app’s k-factor, cycle time, conversion through invite funnel, retention uplift and more.

4. More invite channels

Smart Invites are targeted at making it as easy as possible for a user to invite his friends and family. The solution offers invites via email, popular chat apps, and social media, covering every possible medium that a user might want to use.

Smart Invites channels

Read more

In fact, we also noticed that apps making use of Smart Invites saw 61% of users sending invites on popular chat apps like WhatsApp.

pikpok case study

Also read: Why WhatsApp needs to be your app marketing hack this year

5. Frictionless Invites

Users can send invites to their friends and family without authenticating with your app or any of the supported invite channels. This makes the process of inviting a user, intuitive and fast – increasing the rate of participation per user.

6. App store detection

The invite links used in Smart Invites automatically detect the recipient’s device and directs them to the appropriate store. iOS users are taken to the App Store, Android users are taken to the Google Play Store and desktop users are taken to the desired landing page where they can ask for an SMS link the install on other devices.

7. UI customization

Would you really click on an invite that doesn’t seem personalized? Absolutely not! That’s why we enable easy customization of the Smart Invites UI and also let you use your own. We think app invites need to be as impressive as your app itself.

8. Easy branding and localisation

What’s better than receiving an invite from a friend, in a language you usually chat in? Smart Invites can be customized in 21 languages. You can brand all the invite URLs with your own custom domain, to ensure they don’t look spammy to any user.

Simply put, Smart Invites make it intuitive for a user to invite his friends and family to the app.

Why should you choose Smart Invites?

1. Easy sharing for users

Since Smart Invites makes it simple for users to send invites to their friends and family, over a channel they prefer – social media or chat apps. With no copy-paste required, it makes sure that the referral codes are passed along with the invite.

2. Simpler to implement

With easy implementation, Smart Invites enable you to deliver a rich user experience – all without taking up your app development resources. It takes care of your entire user referral cycle effectively, letting you run an in-app referral campaign in minutes.

3. Survives app installation

Smart Invites work for both the App Store and the Google Play Store. This doesn’t just make the installation process seamless but also ensures that the recipient receives the referral code or the content shared with him. The feature enables app marketers to instill instant gamification for referred users, engaging them right from the point of onboarding.  

To know more about GetSocial Smart Invites, read here.

If you’re still waiting for Facebook to discontinue their app invites completely, before deciding your next move – think about all the users you could possibly lose during that time.

And if you’re thinking of building a custom solution for your app before February, you might want to download our FREE ebook on the biggest debate for indie developers: Build vs Buy.