Google: Interstitials Are Pointless


Are you annoyed by the interstitials that pop up when you open a mobile website? You’re not alone: According to a new study by Google, a majority of visitors will abandon a new Web page when confronted with an interstitial of some sort.

Google ran an experiment on Google+ to determine how audiences interact with interstitials. It found that 9 percent of visitors to Google+’s mobile website who encountered its interstitial (which encourages people to download the native Google+ app) tapped “Get App.” That number pales in comparison to the 69 percent of users who abandoned the page at the interstitial, rather than continue to the content or tap to download the app.

When Google removed the interstitial, its number of active users climbed, while the number of native app installs seemed largely unaffected. “Based on these results, we decided to permanently retire the interstitial,” David Morell, a software engineer for Google+, posted on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog. “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.”

If you’re thinking of implementing an interstitial, in other words, it might be time to reconsider—and figure out another way to promote your app or service.