What Are Interstitial Ads and How Do They Impact User Experience?

HomeDigital MarketingWhat Are Interstitial Ads and How Do They Impact User Experience?


Key Takeaways

According to Statista, interstitial ads have shown a 25% increase in engagement in 2024.

SEMrush data reveals that 68% of users find interstitial ads intrusive if not timed well.

Strategic use of interstitial ads can boost engagement but requires careful consideration of user experience.

In digital advertising, interstitial ads are big ads that can show up while you’re using an app or website. They fill the whole screen and are meant to catch your attention. 

These ads can be effective in getting people interested, but they also make some people wonder if they can be annoying. How do these ads affect what people do online, and what can businesses do to make sure these ads work well without bothering users?

Introduction to Interstitial Ads

Interstitial ads are a kind of online ads that show up between two content pages or when you switch between sections in an app or website. They pop up when you pause while browsing or using an app.

The main goal of these ads is to grab your attention at these natural breaks. They’re made to be very noticeable and interesting, which helps advertisers get their message across to the right people.

Definition and Purpose of Interstitial Ads

Interstitial ads are characterized by their full-screen display, which allows them to occupy the entire screen space, providing ample room for multimedia content such as images, videos, or interactive elements. The purpose of interstitial ads is to deliver targeted messages to users at strategic moments, maximizing the chances of engagement and conversion.

Different Types of Interstitial Ads

There are several types of interstitial ads commonly used in digital marketing campaigns. These include:

  • Full-Page Ads: These ads cover the entire screen, providing ample space for multimedia content such as images, videos, or interactive elements. They are highly immersive and can effectively grab users’ attention.
  • Video Ads: Video interstitial ads play video content that typically auto-plays when the user encounters them. They are engaging and can convey messages effectively through audio-visual means.
  • Interactive Ads: Interactive interstitial ads allow users to engage with the content, such as swiping through a gallery, playing a mini-game, or filling out a form. They offer a hands-on experience, making them more memorable for users.

Benefits of Interstitial Ads:

Enhanced Engagement:

  • Interstitial ads cover the entire screen, making them hard to miss for users.
  • This full-screen display captures users’ attention effectively, leading to higher engagement rates compared to smaller ad formats.

Effective Targeted Messaging:

  • Interstitial ads allow advertisers to tailor their messages based on user demographics, behaviors, and preferences.
  • By delivering targeted messages, advertisers can increase the relevance of ads, making them more impactful and likely to resonate with users.

Captivating Visual Experience:

  • Interstitial ads often include rich multimedia content such as videos, animations, or interactive elements.
  • This captivating visual experience not only grabs users’ attention but also enhances the overall brand perception and message retention.

Increased Conversion Rates:

  • The immersive nature of interstitial ads, coupled with targeted messaging and engaging visuals, can lead to higher conversion rates.
  • Users who interact with interstitial ads are more likely to take desired actions such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading an app.

Brand Awareness and Recall:

  • Full-screen interstitial ads provide ample space to showcase brand imagery, slogans, and key messages.
  • This exposure helps in building brand awareness and recall among users, contributing to long-term brand loyalty and customer engagement.

Challenges and User Experience Impact

Potential for Interruption and Annoyance:

  • Interstitial ads have the potential to interrupt users’ browsing or app usage, especially if they appear suddenly and cover the entire screen.
  • Users may find these ads intrusive and disruptive to their experience, leading to frustration and a negative perception of the website or app.
  • The timing of interstitial ads is crucial; displaying them at inappropriate moments, such as during critical tasks or content consumption, can significantly impact user satisfaction.

Impact on Website/App Loading Times and Performance:

  • Full-screen interstitial ads can increase the load time of web pages or app screens, especially if they contain rich multimedia content.
  • Slow loading times due to heavy ad content can lead to user impatience and may result in higher bounce rates as users abandon the site or app.
  • For mobile users, excessive data consumption caused by large interstitial ads can also be a concern, particularly in regions with limited internet bandwidth.

Best Practices for Implementing Interstitial Ads

Timing and Frequency Considerations

  • Avoid displaying interstitial ads immediately upon page load as it can disrupt user engagement.
  • Implement a delay before showing the ad to give users time to interact with the content.
  • Use user behavior data to determine the optimal timing for displaying interstitial ads, such as when users are more likely to be receptive.

Design and Content Optimization for User Experience

  • Ensure that the design of the interstitial ad is visually appealing and consistent with your brand identity.
  • Opt for responsive designs that adapt well to different screen sizes and devices to provide a seamless user experience.
  • Use clear and concise messaging in the ad to convey the value proposition or call-to-action effectively.
  • Provide an easy-to-find option for users to dismiss or close the ad if they are not interested, avoiding frustration.
  • Test different variations of design elements and content to identify what resonates best with your target audience.
  • Monitor user feedback and metrics such as bounce rates and session duration to assess the impact of interstitial ads on user experience and make necessary adjustments.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Case Study 1: Google

  • Objective: Increase user engagement and promote new features.
  • Interstitial Ad Strategy: Google implemented interstitial ads to showcase new features of its search engine and productivity tools. These ads appeared during natural pauses in user activity, such as when accessing search results or switching between Google apps.
  • User Experience Mitigation: To avoid user annoyance, Google ensured that the ads were relevant and non-intrusive. They also provided an option to skip the ad or access the content immediately.

Case Study 2: Spotify

  • Objective: Promote premium subscription upgrades and exclusive content.
  • Interstitial Ad Strategy: Spotify used interstitial ads to promote its premium subscription services and exclusive content, such as ad-free listening and offline downloads. These ads were strategically placed between songs or during app launch.
  • User Experience Mitigation: To maintain a positive user experience, Spotify limited the frequency of these ads and provided clear benefits for upgrading to the premium version. They also tested different ad formats to optimize engagement without disrupting the music streaming experience.

Case Study 3: Amazon

  • Objective: Increase sales and promote seasonal offers.
  • Interstitial Ad Strategy: Amazon leveraged interstitial ads during key shopping seasons, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to promote discounts, deals, and limited-time offers across various product categories. These ads appeared when users navigated to specific product pages or during checkout.
  • User Experience Mitigation: Amazon optimized the design of interstitial ads to be visually appealing and relevant to users’ shopping interests. They also provided quick access to the promoted deals and ensured a seamless transition back to the shopping experience after interacting with the ad.

Case Study 4: Instagram

  • Objective: Drive app installs and increases user engagement with new features.
  • Interstitial Ad Strategy: Instagram used interstitial ads to encourage users to download the app or explore new features such as Stories, Reels, and shopping features. These ads were displayed when users browsed Instagram through mobile browsers or other platforms.
  • User Experience Mitigation: Instagram focused on creating visually captivating ads that aligned with users’ interests and browsing behavior. They also provided clear calls-to-action and options to learn more about the app’s features without disrupting the overall browsing experience.

Case Study 5: Airbnb

  • Objective: Increase bookings and showcase unique accommodations.
  • Interstitial Ad Strategy: Airbnb utilized interstitial ads to promote unique accommodations, travel experiences, and discounts based on users’ search history and preferences. These ads appeared during the booking process or when users explored new travel destinations.
  • User Experience Mitigation: Airbnb personalized interstitial ads to match users’ travel interests and budgets. They also implemented a seamless transition from the ad to the booking page, reducing friction and enhancing the overall booking experience.


Interstitial ads are useful in digital marketing because they make brands more visible and engage people. But they can also annoy users if not used well. Marketers should follow good practices like showing ads at the right time and making them easy to use. In the future, new ad types and focusing on users’ needs will make ads more effective and keep digital spaces friendly.


What are interstitial ads? 

Interstitial ads are full-screen ads that appear between content transitions, offering immersive brand experiences.

How do interstitial ads impact user experience? 

They can enhance engagement but must be used judiciously to avoid disrupting user flow and causing annoyance.

What are best practices for implementing interstitial ads? 

Timing, frequency, and design optimization are crucial for effective interstitial ad campaigns.

Are interstitial ads effective in driving conversions? 

When used strategically with relevant content, interstitial ads can lead to higher conversion rates.

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