Google removes the interstitial mobile app ads completely for a better user

26 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Annoyed By Mobile Sites That “Ask” You To Download Their App? You’re Not Alone.

How much do mobile users hate interstitial screens blocking their mobile browsing by urging them to down the native app instead? Most mobile web users are all too familiar with the infamous “interstitial” ad that often pops up to promote a website’s native app, but this week Google did them a favor and eliminated its own such ads.

The search giant said that the decision to remove interstitial ads was made after an extensive study proved that mobile users of Google+ are not happy or do not welcome annoying full-page ads that directs them to download the Google+ app.Google has published an interesting study about app interstitials, and the results are significant enough that companies should consider removing their interstitial or switch to an app install banner instead.Google believe that by setting the example of removing the interstitial ads, many company as well as app developers will follow it and ultimately provide users with ad free mobile browsing experience.When the team replaced the “interstitial” with a Smart App Banner, which still promoted the app, but less glaringly, the results were completely different.

The search engine giant decided to analyze interstitial ads for Google+ and found that only nine percent of visitors press the “get app” button, while 69 percent of the users abandoned the page completely. Well, that and common sense when you think about the contrast between the aim of mobile computing (speed, convenience) and the point of interstitials (slow, distract).

The survey, conducted by Google, shows that approximately just 9% of the visits made to the Google Plus website on mobile actually made way to the Google Plus mobile application. (Sadly Google is not offering comparative stats with, say, the Gmail app interstitial, so we can but speculate.). Just because somebody clicked through the ad doesn’t mean they also downloaded the app, however: Google+ is installed on many Android phones by default, so some users may have already had it installed. If you aren’t tracking app interstitials through analytics – which numerous “app interstitial solutions” do not – you may not realize just how many visitors never see your content in the first place because they abandon it when presented with the app interstitial.

And while that might sound crazy high (vs online ad click rates, for instance) Google points out that a proportion of those who pressed ‘Get App’ would already have had the app installed. Google’s conclusion: “We decided to permanently retire the interstitial,” wrote David Morell, a software engineer for Google+, in a Thursday blog post. “We believe that the increase in users on our product makes this a net positive change.” Interstitial screen “takeovers” are very annoying to smartphone users and “don’t really perform for developers and publishers,” Sterling added. “It’s in everyone’s interest to find alternatives.” And – quelle surprise – this more softly, softly approach performed better, with Google noting that 1-day active users to the Google+ website increased by 17 per cent.

Despite our intuition that we should remove the interstitial, we prefer to let data guide our decisions, so we set out to learn how the interstitial affected our users. Add to that, many mobile users may well have also simply hit the ‘Get App’ button in error, since those buttons tends to be a lot larger than the ‘continue to mobile site’ links.

As Google prepares to launch a subscription version of YouTube, the move has been endorsed by at least one interested… But google has said time and time again that it most likely will. Based on the analysis result, Google removes the interstitial mobile app ads completely and are also getting rid of the banner on later versions of iOS.

It’s worth noting that Google’s study was small scale, since the company was only looking at how an interstitial promoting the Google+ social service native app performed (and we don’t know how many people it surveyed). And it certainly won’t want the general shift from desktop to mobile computing to end up acting like an interstitial retarding the flow of its ad-based revenue stream.

Google researchers say that experts and non-experts go about protecting their digital privacy in very different ways, … You might as well think that how can I even download your application and clog the memory of my device, unless you provide some serious information. Meanwhile it says Google+ iOS native app installs were “mostly unaffected”, in its assessment — dropping two per cent. (Android users get Google+ preinstalled already, hence the iOS-only measure. 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. And, for corporate device management policy reasons, I can’t actually use the app and need to use the mobile site… So it’s pure, teeth-grinding time-wasting, every time I have to log back in.

Google’s G+ interstitial study is a teaser in terms of data it yields, but it highlights the continuing challenge of serving any kind of ad on mobile without radically annoying users.

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