Instant apps, also known as Android Instant Apps, are operated by Google Play Instant and were first launched by Android in 2017. With instant apps, users can launch and use certain parts of an app without having to install it, and it only takes them seconds to run the app. Instant apps are optional, but all Android app developers are open to register an instant version on the Google Play Store, and any Android user can access it.
Android Instant Apps have been known to benefit both users and marketers by lessening the burden on both parties. Instant apps increase exposure to users which minimizes the need for heavy advertising, while users can experience the app without having to go through the full installation cycle.
With the launch of instant apps, Android introduced a new program called Google Play Instant which runs and manages all instant app-related operations. Any Android app developer who wishes to register an instant app on the Google Play Store can install the Google Play Instant Software Development Kit (SDK) to build the instant module. Essentially, app developers are creating a demo version to give users a sneak peek at their service.
Inside the Google Play Store, there is a separate “Apps to Try Now” tab in which users can discover different instant app options to try out, or they can also search for a specific app and check if it is instant-enabled. Apps that are instant-enabled have a “Try Now” button on the installation page, and when clicked on, the instant app is immediately launched on the user’s device.
Instant apps can be linked and made accessible from other platforms as well, including paid searches, mobile texts, social media platforms, and QR codes. For example, instant apps can be linked to a paid search result, and users who access the link are automatically redirected to the app from the webpage. Also, if a user receives a text with a link to an instant app, they can immediately access the app by simply clicking on the link.
The general consensus of instant apps is that there are no additional steps required to run an app, which eases the user journey process. Apart from this, there are multiple benefits instant apps provide to both users and marketers.