You know all about them because of how annoying they are and because they seem to happen all of the time now. When you go to a website you get a full screen popup asking you for information or if you wish to sign up for the site before you can see the content underneath. These are called interstitials and, according to a new study from Google, they simply do not work.
Google points out that many websites now use interstitials in an attempt to get web surfers to download their apps. The apps allow you to go directly to a website without first going through a browser.
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In order to remove the ad or graphic you simply need to click on the little “x” or somewhere on the page that you linked to. But it seems that, more often than not, users simply get frustrated and close the webpage entirely. This is, of course, counterproductive and negates the purpose of interstitials.
Google’s research showed that 9% of the visits to its interstitial page resulted in the “Get App” button being pressed. And 69% of the visits abandoned their page. These users neither went to the app store nor continued to its mobile website, explained the company.
So what did Google do? It added a Smart App Banner to continue promoting the native app in a “less intrusive way.” This led to an increase of 17% in the 1-day active users on its mobile website.
As a result, Google has chosen to permanently retire the interstitial.
The company stated in a blog post, “We believe that 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!”