Microsoft announces Playable Ads for Windows 10 developers

March 13, 2017 | 10:52

Tags: #advertising #adverts #windows-10

Companies: #microsoft

Microsoft has announced that it is to allow Windows 10 users to try software out before committing to installing it on their systems, through a new advertising format it calls Playable Ads.

That Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 10, is rather more ad-laden than its predecessors is an undeniable fact: from tiles on the Start Menu which gently 'recommend' software from the Windows Store to the company's recent decision to place OneDrive storage adverts into the Windows Explorer file manager, Windows 10 is eager to sell you things - and now Microsoft thinks it has a way for those taking advantage of these advertising features to boost their conversion rate by allowing users to try software before even downloading it.

The company's plan centres around an advertising format it calls Playable Ads. Detailed in a blog post by Microsoft's Vikram Bodavula, Playable Ads are designed to replace the existing Windows Store adverts. 'Every time a user clicks on the app install ad, he/she is taken to the Windows store page, leaving the current app to decide whether to install the respective app,' explained Bodavula. 'The information contained in the product description page is not always complete and the experience a user can get from the actual app usage can potentially differ a lot. This sometimes leads to a quick uninstall if the promise of the product description pages is not met.

'Playable Ads are a completely new way for end users to interact with ads and apps. With this capability, end users never leave the current app. The ad click will result in inline expandable app streaming: for three minutes, the user can interact with the app as if it’s already installed on his/her device. This gives the user time to decide if he or she wants to install the app. At the end of the streaming session, users can click on a link to install the app if the app experience met expectations.

At present, only a selected number of developers are being provided with Playable Ad functionality as part of what Microsoft describes as a 'limited preview.' Thus far, the company has not offered a timeline for a wider roll-out.
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