What is an interstitial ad?

Glossary Interstitial ad

The definition of interstitial ad

An interstitial ad is a full-screen ad that covers the entire interface of the host app.

These ads are designed to be placed between content, and are typically displayed at transition points in an app flow, such as between activities, during a pause, or between levels in a game. When a user is shown an interstitial ad, they have the choice to either click into the ad and continue to its destination or close it and return to the app.

Interstitial ads are similar to pop-up ads, but are differentiated by their full screen coverage. They can also be expandable (known as expandable ads), which start out as regular banner ads before taking up the whole screen.

Interstitials can be displayed in different formats, such as text, a static image, rich media, or a video. The timing of the close option depends on the ad type. Usually, static ads can be closed instantly while interstitial video ads may have up to a 5-second delay before allowing the user to close the ad. Interstitials can also utilize playable ads, which allow users to see a preview of a game, or even test and interact with it, before downloading.

Why are interstitial ads important?

Interstitial ads are one of the most popular mobile ad formats, and are an important monetization tool for mobile apps and games. Publishers like them as they clearly separate their app from the ad, while advertisers enjoy the benefit of having a user’s full attention. The full screen experience of interstitial ads can be used to avoid ‘banner blindness’ (when users become so accustomed to seeing banner ads that they no longer take notice) and result in a high number of impressions. This higher impression rate usually results in a higher click-through rate (CTR) and a higher conversion rate.

Best practices for interstitial ads

When using interstitial ads, it’s important to be thoughtful and follow best practices, as their large size can negatively impact user experience when used excessively. Interstitial ads are best suited for apps with linear user experiences that have natural transition points. Completing a task such as sharing an image or completing a game level creates such a point, where a user is expecting a break in the action. Avoid surprising users, presenting them with too many ads, or obstructing their use of the app, which can lead to accidental clicks and poor user experience. Don’t display interstitial ads upon opening or closing an app, or immediately following another ad. Also, remember to pause any in-app activity (such as gameplay or music) while displaying an interstitial ad, and allow for adequate loading time.

Interstitial ads and Adjust

Tracking interstitial ads is easy with Adjust; it’s as simple as integrating an SDK and creating an Adjust tracker URL. After that, our dashboard will show you precisely how well your advertisements are performing. We can also put you in sync with any of our hundreds of partners so you can advertise to the right sources at a budget which is right for you.


Learn more about our solution - Adjust Measure.

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