Those web pages that stop you getting to the information you really want in favour of asking you to Download An App are deeply annoying. But now a study by Google shows just how counter-productive they actually are for the people that put them there in the first place.
If any company was to test the heck out of an intervention like one of those pages -- known in the trade as a promotional app interstitial -- it was going to be Google. So they started studying what happened at the page that popped up when people accessed Google+ on the web (no jokes about sample size, please). They found that while 9 per cent of visitors hit the 'Get App' button (though didn't necessarily download it), an amazing 69% simply abandoned the visit to the page. When they removed the page, activity on the mobile website increased by 17 per cent and app downloads barely changed.
Google, then, is planning to scrap interstitial pages, and says it published the results so that others will "reconsider the use of promotional interstitials" to "remove friction and make the mobile web more useful." Which is a conclusion we can really get behind.
Image by Japanexperterna.se under Creative Commons licence.