Tapjoy Mobile Champions: Moonsik Kang

When Tapjoy acquired the mobile analytics and LTV maximization platform 5Rocks in 2014, several of 5Rocks’s outstanding engineers joined the Tapjoy team. Perhaps none are more talented Moonsik Kang. 

Today, Moonsik serves as our VP of Engineering, overseeing a team of engineers tasked with building and maintaining many of Tapjoy’s most critical app advertising and monetization products. Recently, we sat down with Moonsik to ask about the Tapjoy Offerwall, its new inline video feature, and more. Here’s the edited transcript of our conversation.

Tapjoy recently made some pretty significant upgrades to its Offerwall. Can you tell us a little about the new features?
Absolutely. Tapjoy has long been known for its industry-leading Offerwall, an ad product that we pioneered nearly a decade ago. Since then a lot of competitors have come along, but we’ve made it our mission to maintain our lead and to continue delivering innovations to the format. Our recent series of changes fall into three main buckets. These include:

  1. An Improved User Experience. This is always first and foremost our primary concern. We want to make sure that users have a very positive experience when they interact with our Offerwall. We made updates to the visual layout and design of the Offerwall to make it more user-friendly, and we added new features to make customer support more accessible. We now also let users track their Offerwall history so they know exactly where their rewards stand at any given point.
  2. Increased Conversions. We made it easier for users to watch videos directly through the Offerwall by delivering inline videos. And we simplified the general instructions page and selection flow of all offers to make it easier for users to engage with the ads of their choice. This has already driven a 1% increase in conversions, which of course translates to a lot of revenue for our publishing partners.
  3. Personalization. Lastly, we want to show users the most relevant offers possible, so now we enable them to browse through our hundreds of advertising offers based on a number of different categories — like videos or app installs or certain types of actions — making it easier than ever to find the offers they like best.

Tell us more about the new inline videos feature. Why is that important?
Inline videos are videos that start playing automatically when they appear as the user scrolls through the Offerwall. Of course, the user still has to tap on the video in order to listen to the audio and earn their rewards, but the fact that the start of the video begins playing automatically lets them get a sample of the content and helps them decide whether they want to see more. This reduces friction for the ad and leads to higher conversion rates. Facebook uses inline video ads in its newsfeed and other social media platforms have started experimenting with the format as well, but we believe we are the first company to incorporate the technology into an in-app Offerwall.  

What are some of the other significant features of the Offerwall that are unique to Tapjoy?
We try to give developers as much flexibility as possible so they can integrate and manage their Offerwalls however they’d like. That means giving them the tools to customize the color scheme of their Offerwall, for instance, so that it matches the look and feel of their app. Another way we do that is by allowing developers to customize the exchange rate or even offer different exchange rates so that certain users can get higher or lower payouts. Or developers can switch between two different types of currencies within the Offerwall, as another example.

How do you decide which changes to make to the Offerwall and how to prioritize those changes?
We meet with our developer relations and advertising sales teams on a regular basis so that we know exactly what our customers want. Feedback from the industry is one of the most important inputs for us. But a lot of times, delivering innovation requires us to think of solutions that people don’t even know that they want. So we spend time every month coming up with out-of-the-box ideas to consider adding to the Offerwall. These ideas get discussed within our team, and then the best ideas get presented to the executives of the company and the heads of the developer and advertising teams. It’s a very collective effort.

We also hold hackathons within our team in which we encourage the engineers to create some type of ad product or feature that is completely new and innovative. These hackathons tend to last a couple of days and are very important for stirring the creative juices of our engineers. Some of our best ideas have come out of them.

How much of what you do is informed by data?
That’s a great question, and the answer is basically — everything! We work very closely with Tapjoy’s Business Intelligence and Data Science teams to understand the ways that people interact with our ad products. A lot of the upgrades that we make stem from discoveries and insights that come from our data team. The user interface that you see is just the tip of the iceberg. Behind that stands a very sophisticated data analytics platform that powers everything from the targeting of the ads to the rollout of every single feature. I’d say that our ability to use data to support every single decision that goes into our Offerwall — as with all of our ad products — is one of the biggest things that sets our engineering team apart from others in the industry.

Thanks Moonsik!

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