Google Tests New App Search Strategy

By Tinuiti Team

Engagement remains one of the most important hurdles for app developers and advertisers to jump. Just because a consumer downloads your app doesn’t mean he or she will ever use it — in fact, only about 25 percent of installed apps ever receives attention from the user.

Google has announced a new feature that might increase the engagement factor for apps and encourage consumers to only download apps that they intend to use.

App Previews Allow Users to Test Apps Before They Download

Businesses in all industries have recognized the benefits of free trials for garnering new customers. Instead of taking a risk on a piece of software or some other product, the consumer can kick the tires for a while to determine whether it’s worth his or her time and investment.

Google has harnessed that strategy for app advertisers — though for different reasons. The search engine behemoth has launched an app streaming function for Android users that lets consumers try out an app for 10 minutes before they download it.

Google has tested this functionality in organic listings, but it will soon become available in search. Although iOS and Windows users won’t have access to it yet, it might move to other platforms if it proves successful.

How It Works

Until now, an app advertisement would allow the user to click on a link for an app install extension, which would whisk the user off to the Play Store or other storefront for installation.

The app streaming option will allow users to instead click a “Try Now” or similar button to test out the app. For 10 minutes, the consumer can use the app just as he or she would after installation, but without the commitment. If, after the 10-minute preview, the consumer likes the app, he or she can install it just like normal.

Many advertisers and developers have seen the benefits of app streaming for games — if users can get hooked on the gameplay, they’ll not only be more likely to download the game formally, but also to continue to play it. However, this functionality could benefit all types of apps.

What This Means for App Advertisers

App advertisers can leverage app streaming to garner more engagement.

When an app sits unused on a smartphone or tablet, the advertiser doesn’t earn any money from it. The app won’t display ads because it’s not running, and the user won’t spend money if such a component exists for the app.

If users can test out an app, however, they engage with it immediately. They discover its functionality and benefits, and are therefore more likely to continue the experience upon installation.

Some worry that app streaming will reduce download volumes — and it might. Some users will discover that they don’t like the user interface or that they don’t have a use for the functionality, but you won’t lose revenue as a result. Those users would likely not engage with the app anyway — or they might uninstall it entirely.

It will be interesting to see how app streaming evolves. If you’re looking for other ways to boost your online presence and to generate more profits from your online activities, read the case study Helping TravelStore Become an Online Entity.

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