Annoyed By Mobile Sites That “Ask” You To Download Their App? You’re Not Alone

Your team has spent many months perfecting your mobile app, so of course you want people to download it. You want to get your app high up in the app store charts. I get it. Totally. However, you (and a lot of companies) have gotten overly aggressive with how you go about “suggesting” that we download your app.

full_page_interstitial copyYou know what I’m talking about. The “interstitial” suggestion to either download the app (in big letters!) or continue to the mobile site (in teeny tiny letters!).

It’s really fucking annoying and a Googler dropped a bomb today on just how annoying it might be.

Before you turn on your smart pants and make fun of Google+, check out the findings:

Despite our intuition that we should remove the interstitial, we prefer to let data guide our decisions, so we set out to learn how the interstitial affected our users. Our analysis found that:

– 9% of the visits to our interstitial page resulted in the ‘Get App’ button being pressed. (Note that some percentage of these users already have the app installed or may never follow through with the app store download.)
– 69% of the visits abandoned our page. These users neither went to the app store nor continued to our mobile website.


Sixty-nine percent of people saw a link somewhere, cared enough to tap it, saw the interstitial and said “hell no.” I’m pretty sure that Google+ isn’t the only property seeing this on the web. I like using really well built mobile sites. They feel lighter than a native app and sometimes I just want to follow a link and get out of there.

Sorry, site owners, maybe we just don’t want your app. Google+ dropped theirs once they saw the above data. Being “mobile” doesn’t just mean having a native app and driving people to it.

It seems like mobile-first companies are learning that (albeit slowly and thanks to data like this), expanding their desktop/web offerings. Take a look at Instagram and Vine, both are adding more functionality into their website. Smart. Why lock up great content and lock out great eyeballs just because you want app installs?

Google’s Jennifer Gove talked about this so-called “Door Slam” last year at I/O:

I see this page at least 10 times a day and it drives me nuts:


The weird thing is, I already have their app! I just don’t want to use it all of the time, especially when I tap a link on Twitter.

How about you? What do you do when you’re asked to download an app?