Google’s App Streaming lets you try out games inside ads

4 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google Brings Its App Streaming Technology To Mobile Ads.

That’s the idea behind Google’s new “Trial Run” ad format, which will give people 60 seconds of playtime before they decide whether or not a game deserves a spot on their homescreen.Google said today it is launching a couple of new types of mobile ad formats for advertisers — a new ad that lets mobile users try out a game, and a new type of HTML5 interactive interstitial ad. “Trial Run Ads” let a user play a game in the ad for up to 60 seconds.Last month, Google introduced a new way for web searchers to find the information they want – even when that content was locked inside a mobile application. That way, they’ll only be shelling out for users who are genuinely interested in playing the game, versus those who downloaded it based simply on a product screenshot, catchy description, or a whim.

Now, the company will apply that same technology to ads, which may sound boring, until you consider the ancillary benefit to you, smartphone time-waster: free game trials. The search engine would return results for in-app content, and offer you the ability to “stream” the app from the web to your phone, if you didn’t already have it installed on your device. The previous app streaming announcement, which so far remains a very limited trial, has serious implications for the future of information-based apps—once Google has indexed what’s inside them, do they need to exist?—and applies to Google’s search product.

Google believes that if a user tries out the game and likes it, they are, in a sense pre-qualified as someone who will not only download the game but continue to play it. Today, Google is expanding the capabilities of app streaming by allowing developers to take advantage of the technology for app install ads running on the AdMob network, which today reaches 650,000 applications. Google reports that a high number of people who download apps never even open them. “Interactive Interstitials offer a truly custom experience that can include your app’s value proposition and the functionalities you want to highlight, all painted in your personal branding strategy,” Google said in a blog post today. That means you’ll soon be seeing ads called Interactive Interstitials, built in HTML5-rich environments, that enable everything from slideshows that end in exclusive offers to on-screen scratch-off tickets. “Rather than just telling a user about your app, you can offer them an experience unique to your app that inspires them to want to spend time with your app,” writes Google in an blog post announcing the feature.

The addition is one of two new app install ad formats arriving today, says Google, the other one being a way to create touchable, “swipeable,” more engaging and mobile-friendly advertisements called “Interactive Interstitials.” The goal behind both of these formats, explains Sissie Hsiao, Google’s new head of product for mobile ads, is to help app developers find the right users. “You can buy ads, you can get apps installed. The distinction between these ads and apps streaming as the result of a search is that while the latter offers full app-equivalent experiences, Interactive Interstitials act as small tastes of what apps can offer. But a lot of apps are used once or they’re never used, even after they’re installed,” she says. “We found that 1 in 4 apps is never even used, and there’s often this ‘try once’ experience, and then [the app is] never used again,” Hsiao adds. One is about streamlining the mobile experience to the point of obviating app downloads altogether; the other counterbalances that by nudging you to install. The move also follows not long after Google announced that it would let users “stream” a select handful of apps through mobile search without downloading them.

There’s going to be some tension between search-based and ad-based app streaming for information-packed, redundant apps like hotel listings and recipe books and so on, as developers decide whether to pay for streaming placement, or to let Google index their app-only content and pray to the SEO gods, or both. Instead, Google’s app streaming technology, which came to the company by way of an acquisition of a startup called Agawi, involves the app running on virtual machines on Google’s cloud platform.

Called “Trial Run” ads, the format is especially interesting to mobile game developers who want to increase their likelihood of finding people who will enjoy playing their game, and, hopefully, will spend money on in-app purchases for things like virtual goods. In this case, with what Google’s calling Trial Run Ads, that place is a minute-long trial to get a sense of the game before you commit to finding it a place in your app drawer. That way, users interacting with the ad won’t have to go through a sign-up flow first, or watch the introductory animation that’s included with many games – they can simply start playing.

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