Google Retires App Download Interstitials

Android / Google / Mobile
Google Plus

Google has decided that it would be better for both the mobile web and for users to retire their app download interstitials for Google+ when viewing the plus page on a mobile device. We’re all familiar with those sites with these annoying interstitials but for those who aren’t, they are those full screen ads asking users to download the respective site’s app to run its content natively inside. Usually there is a large button to get the app and a small link to allow you to continue to the mobile site.

I can understand the idea behind this. There is a lot more fluidity in an app experience compared to that of a mobile site. Developers are able to deliver fuller and richer content much more efficiently through a dedicated app instead of through a mobile browser.  Does that still mean that you should have a landing page anytime a mobile browser hits your site to suggest downloading the app?  Google doesn’t think so after doing a case study on the subject.

In Google’s study, not only did it find that these interstitials provided a poor user experience, but 69 percent of the people that got to the interstitial on the mobile site abandoned the page and didn’t get the app. Just that landing page appearing was enough to make over half of the people visiting the site on their phone decide not to continue. Nine percent of visitors chose to download the app, which isn’t a terrible number, but they focused more on the 69 percent of people leaving.

Google didn’t want to give up on advertising its app for Google+ when people visited the mobile site, but instead, tried to do it in a different fashion. The search giant added a banner at the top of the page to still give users the option to easily download the app but in a much less intrusive way. On the first day of doing this, the company noticed that the active users on the mobile site increased by 17 percent. That was proof enough they needed to get rid of the interstitial all together and go exclusively with the banner ad.

We believe the increase in users on our product makes this a net positive change, and we are sharing this with the hope that you will reconsider the use of promotional interstitials. Let’s remove friction and make the mobile web more useful and usable!

We couldn’t agree more! Let us know what you think in the comments below, or on your favorite social media site.

  Source: Google Webmaster Central
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