Via the Inside AdWords blog comes news of two new types of interactive ads from Google. The first, Trial Run Ads, will allow users to test out apps for 60 seconds before actually purchasing and downloading them.
The motivation of the new app format, according to Google's Sissie Hsiao, Director of Product, Display and Pasha Nahass, Product Manager, Display, is that one in four downloaded apps is never actually used. When a lot of apps get their revenue not through initial purchase and downloads but through in-app purchases and ads, this is a big problem.
The best use for Trial Run Ads will be for game apps, letting you play for a bit to entice a download. The hope is that the one minute of play will get both those who download a game to actually play it, and those who otherwise ignore ads or wouldn't download a game to perhaps get addicted enough to give the game a real chance.
And, because people who try out the game in an ad are more likely to actually play the game, Trial Run Ads provide advertisers "more relevant ad clicks, app downloads, and pre-qualified app users," according to Hsiao and Nahass.
The second type of new ad announced is a beta for Interactive Interstitial ads. These ads "offer a completely customized user experience tailored to each advertiser's app." The most important difference is that the new ads use HTML5 instead of a standardized template or format, which allows advertisers much more room for dynamic and interactive ads.
Advertisers can keep things small and unobtrusive or create full on galleries displaying their products in their ads, depending on the needs of the advertiser and what kind of targeting they wish to do.
While these new ads are a great opportunity for advertisers, especially those with, say, an addictive game that just needs a shot to catch on, at a certain point one begins to wonder, what are the point of apps? If you can simply stream the content in, whether it is the content from apps, or ads, or documents, or webpages, or anything else, one has to ask why we would need to separate them out in the first place, if only to make them individually purchasable and therefore economically feasible.
That's the logic behind things like Chromebooks. The reason they can be lighter, cheaper, and run faster is because they don't have to carry around scads of extra programs. Instead of having the entire Microsoft Office suite burdening the hard drive and eating up RAM whenever you open Excel or Word, you instead use Google Apps like Docs and Sheets, and store everything in the cloud.
Now, with Trial Run Ads, you don't even have to have a game to play a game. At a certain point you'll likely just play a game for a few minutes through an ad, get shown other ads within the game ad to make the game advertising revenue, and move on. No need for an app. And now with Interactive Interstitial ads, online advertisements can use HTML5 and blend ever more fluidly in with actual content.
You can never accurately predict what the future is going to look like, but if these trends continue, it will be a world where you access everything, games, ads, content, etc., through one browser. There will be no need for extraneous things like apps when you can stream the whole world to you.