Everything Publishers need to know about Android Instant Apps

Currently a Digital and Web Specialist at BarillaGeorge Nader takes part of the internal and external innovation and digitalization process in the company. His role covers all countries Barilla brands and employees are found in. Previously, he coordinated demand generation campaigns & partnerships that help spread the word about AppsBuilder, while also lending his app marketing expertise to blog posts and case studies. Born in Lebanon, he is a mountain and outdoor enthusiast.

George Nader

According to Flurry, app usage represents 86% of time spent on mobile. Google’s recently announced Instant Apps may be the hint to how they are looking to close the remaining gap. This new feature lets app owners deep link into their app and allow users to benefit from a fully native use. The objective is for people to tap on a URL and open a native Android app instantly without having to install it. In essence, it blurs the line between the web and apps to an unprecedented level.

However, revenue models, app install ads, app engagement strategies and app features are about to face a swift change. With the release of Instant Apps, publishers have a decision to make when they reach the fork in the road. Check out the explanation and benefits in the video below.

Android Instant Apps introduction by Google, Inc.

Instead of going into the many ways users will benefit from this new methodology of deep linking, let’s have a look to what publishers will face and how they should react:

Revenue Model:

Generating returns from your app or apps has been a roller coaster. Experts confirm that there is no right/wrong way to do it, it all depends on the type of app and objectives. The various revenue models are: paid apps, revenue from advertisement, in-app purchases (what the gaming industry thrives on) and freemium.

What to do? 
Publishers, especially for Business and Communication categories, should work on making their apps more and more complementary to their business. Think about the app as a vitrina to your business and service.

App install ads

The race to get app installs attracts everyone who develops and releases a mobile app. This race created a whole new business which joins publishers, who are looking to sell and advertisers who are willing to provide the space to show the advert. However, if apps are only opened and downloaded, how will it be possible to track installs vs clicks? Why would app owners pay to advertise for an app they can’t make revenues from?

What do to?
Here is were publishers, especially for Shopping and Travel categories would benefit from running these types of ads. It would be similar to running a campaign for a product on search engines.

App Engagement

In order to resist becoming a Zombie app, developers have set out to perform ad campaigns that aim to engage users to re-use their app. How would it be possible to measure app engagement with a 1-time app? This means that engagement would be calculated differently for Instant apps and measure the goal rather than time spent using the app.

What to do?
Worry not! Engagement does not only mean a user opening your app but interacting with your product or service. Publishers should make sure to get a touch point from users during or right before closing the app session. Hotel apps may consider contacting users after he/she has reserved their room in a very fast and easy way.

App Features

Less is more. Instant Apps perfectly bolster this saying. Since apps will be specifically developed for this use, then planning what features to include or exclude should be fairly simple. Focus on becoming a utilitarian app rather than an informative one.

What do Do?
This one is simple. Apps under Banking categories may consider to remove About Us section and focus on letting users perform the wire transfer. Publishers may also consider changing menu types to deliver a more Snapchat feeling to their users.


There is no doubt that marketing managers are already planning the next big move with instant apps. An obstacle marketers face when conduction a promotion or contest is to get users to interact and participate. Asking them to upload their images by logging into your site or even using a specific social media platform, always left a portion of potential contestants out.

With instant apps, people who would like to enroll in a competition can open the native app using QR codes to deep link and directly take a snap of his or her surrounding scenery and then click send.

Thank You Google?

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” ― Andy Warhol. There are no doubts that Instant Apps are the way for the future, especially since many of the millions of apps on stores never focused on quality or the service they offer. Deep linking into a native app will undoubtedly need some work in the beginning, but it also created new markets to compete in and profit from.

If you want to know more about what George Nader does follow him on Twitter as @nadergeo.