Playable Ads Coming to Windows 10

Some time in the not too distant future, we’ll be telling younger folks about the good old days, when there were ads on TV, radio and the internet, but none on your computer.

Microsoft revealed the new playable ads advertisement option on the Windows Dev Center blog today that developers can take advantage of. A preview of the Playable Ads feature launched today in the Windows Dev Center. If you have never heard of the term before, you are probably wondering how the ad format differs from other ad types already available for developers on Windows 10.

Regular advertisement for apps right now usually consists of a text or image link that leads to Windows Store. Users may then look at screenshots, read the description, comments, and install the application.

The issue with this approach according to Microsoft is that the content on the Store page may not always provide a thorough picture on the application. The user experience may be different from the user’s expectation.

Playable ads change that. They provide the user with a three minute long experience of the advertised application directly in the application the new app was promoted in.

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.

The following picture highlights the core differences between regular ads and playable ads promoted in Windows 10 applications.

playable ads

Microsoft lists several reasons on the blog why playable ads are better. Reasons include that users can experience the app before installing it, that they don’t leave the context of the application with the ad, that users may stop the app stream of the playable app at any time, that developers have a better chance to highlight their app or game, and that users who stick with the app and install it after the three minute stream — or before — will more likely stick with the app.

Developers of Windows 10 apps can start creating playable apps right away using the Windows Dev Center.

These advertisements appear to be limited to Windows 10 apps for now. Please note that this may include native Windows 10 apps that Microsoft produced, provided that they show ads as well.

So, Windows 10 users who don’t make much use of apps on the system, won’t likely be exposed to these new ad format. The company pushed out a new type of ad recently though in File Explorer.

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