Google Gets Rid of Interstitials in Mobile Apps

They interrupt your Web browsing, they get on your nerves -- and to top it off, they generally donEUt work, either. ThatEUs what a new study from Google has determined about interstitial advertisements, those full-screen ads that cover the interface of a host application.

So Google is taking the hint. "Based on these results, we decided to permanently retire the interstitial," Google software engineer David Morell said in a blog post last week. Interstitial ads are usually displayed at various transition points in the flow of an application, such as during the pause between levels in a game.

The recent Google study found that most people pay no attention to the ads, which isnEUt surprising. What might give some pause is that a healthy majority of those polled will ditch Web sites completely when advertisements interrupt what theyEUre doing.

9 Percent Click Through

Mobile sites are especially prone to interstitial ads, using promotional app interstitials as a way to encourage users to download their native mobile apps. Native mobile apps can provide richer user experiences in some cases, along with features of a device that are not always easy to get to via a browser. As a result, a lot of app owners try to encourage users to install the native versions of their online properties or services. WhatEUs still being worked out is how aggressively to go about that encouragement.

The Google Plus mobile Web site took some time studying its own use of interstitials. Its internal user experience studies showed that the experiences were mostly negative, prompting a more scientific look at the ads and their effects.

The analysis by Google Plus found that in 9 percent of the visits to its own interstitial page, the user got the app that was advertised, or at least pressed the Get App button, while 69...

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