Mobile pop up ads that ask you to 'Get the App' scare away 69% of users, Google test finds


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Pop ups that prompt you to "Get the App" on mobile are frustrating and annoying, so much so that they cause the majority of users to abandon the site entirely, a recent test by Google showed.


According to a Google blog post, the Google+ team had the suspicion that these invasive pop up ads, called "interstitials," created an awful experience for the user. And they decided to do a test to see if Google+ should ditch them altogether.

After an analysis, the team found the following:

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  • 9% of the visits to the mobile site resulted in the "Get App" button being pressed. However, "some percentage of these users already have the app installed or may never follow through with the app store download."
  • 69% of the visits to the mobile site abandoned the page entirely. That means not only didn't they go to the app store, but they didn't even continue on to the mobile site.

While 9% might seem, in a vacuum, to be a good number of users to funnel to the download site, it's counteracted by the negative effects. 69% of people, presumably all of whom were trying to get to the mobile site, decided it just wasn't worth it. That's a horrific drain on visits.

When the team replaced the "interstitial" with a Smart App Banner, which still promoted the app, but less glaringly, the results were completely different. Here's what they found:


  • 1-day active users the mobile site increased by 17%.
  • G+ iOS native app installs only saw a 2% decrease. They didn't report the install numbers on Android because Google+ came preinstalled on most phones.

Google+ says based on this data,it has decided to give up on "interstitials" entirely. And annoyed users everywhere would probably appreciate it if other apps followed suit.

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