What is an Instant app? Ways in which it can improve user engagement/interaction

What is an Instant app? Ways in which it can improve user engagement/interaction

The users in the current scenario need everything done as soon as possible, whether it is their parcel delivery or their search results over the Internet. Such impulsive nature of users has pushed companies to introduce a smaller version of their apps. The smaller versions can easily be downloaded within less time and users can use the app for his/her purpose. An effective alternative that can be adopted is “Instant Apps”.

According to reports, the size of the app has a major impact on the user’s intention to download and use it. It might be interesting information, that increases in the size of the app by 6 MB result in a 1% decline in downloads. Also, if the app size exceeds 150 MB, its acceptance/download rate declines by 30%.

You can read more about how to control app size in our detailed blog.

Also, there are about 1.96 million applications available on App Store and about 2.87 mobile applications available on Google Play Store. So there is a need for your business to create a unique value delivery for your mobile application that can attract users.

The instant application is a key trend in mobile application development to be considered. As it can help in enhancing your mobile application visibility and usage. 

What is an Instant App?

Instant App was launched by Google in 2016 and allows users to try some features of the app without downloading the application. Instant apps can be defined as a common link between your brand’s website and its application.

It can be accessed by the user by clicking on the “Try Now” button placed next to the Instal option for the app. However, to use an instant app, the user needs to turn on the option from the app store settings (Settings>General>Google Play Instant).

Instant apps for your business can help to make sure that the unique offerings/services by the brand can be highlighted to the user. Such interaction with users can further help in improved conversion and consumer engagement. 

Benefits that Instant app development offers to business

  • Improved Engagement:

    “Try Now” feature next to your application download option can help in ensuring an improved engagement. As the user can try the application, the services are offered instantly with a single click. Such can help in attracting customers and expanding app usage statistics.

  • Monetization:

    By linking the application with Google Play Wallet, the application can allow users to make in-app purchases and provide users with monetized services.

  • Discoverability:

    Providing an option to “Try Now” can help to promote application discoverability. The user searching for an application for his need will prefer an instant app before downloading it to check for relevant features.

  • Higher conversion rate:

    The improved discoverability of the application aligned with better features visibility can help to ensure an improved conversion rate. Also, Instant apps can act as a feedback tool for your product. For instance; if the user is visiting the “Try Now” option but not downloading the app, hence, there is room for changes to be made.

  • Breakthrough competition:

    Instant app development can help to achieve the ultimate goal of improved competitiveness. It ensures improving the chances of app engagement and improved conversion.

  • Eliminates the need for developing a website:

    Instant apps can act as single-click access for the user, as it does not require installation. Hence, can be an alternative to website development, resulting in a cost-saving approach for your business. 

Usecase for an instant app

  • Gaming Applications:

    An enterprise dealing in the gaming segment can utilize an instant app such as “Play Now” to provide users a glimpse of the gaming experience that the application offers.

  • Multi-feature application:

    Mobile applications that offer multiple services to users through a single app, tend to be large, and hence engagement can be a key challenge. Instant app development can be used for such applications to present users with an experience of application offerings. Also, it helps users to understand application benefits in comparison to other apps available.

  • Online shopping/E-commerce applications:

    Shopping through mobile applications has been a key choice for consumers. The industry reports reflects that more than 57.5% of users prefer mobile applications over websites. In a such use case, Instant applications can help in attracting such online shoppers and improve their application engagement.

  • Single point use applications:

    As per the reports, more than 25% of apps are used only once since they are downloaded, but take up the user’s phone memory. Hence, instant apps in such cases can help in eliminating such challenges, by allowing the user to use the app without downloading. It can also help in attracting more users to the platform in comparison to other applications available over the play store.

  • Experimental Applications:

    It can be the best option for companies focusing on experimental learning, i.e., understanding user needs and introducing new products and services accordingly. Hence, Instant application development can help to introduce smaller app versions. Such versions can constantly be improved based on the user’s experience or behavior on the app.

Once the user installs or open the instant app, he/she can be asked to download the full version of the application through links promoted inside the instant app.

A prominent example of the instant app can be RedBull TV. The brand has its focus on customer engagement through creative content which can be delivered to them through various means. Accordingly, RedBull has introduced its version of the instant app on the play store. The instant app presents short clips of its content and videos to the users. Once the users are engaged or hooked up with the content of RedBull TV, they can simply download the complete app in the background.

Google Offers two categories for placement of Instant App, which are based on the usage criteria of the application.

“Try Now”: It allows the development of a smaller version of an application that can allow the user to experience the limited service of the whole application. It further pushes the user to download the full version of the application or the game.

“Instant Play”: It can be defined as an advanced version of try now which allows the user to get an overall experience of the application and its services and is not just a trial version of the app. 

Also, the usage control of Instant apps completely lies with the user, as the user can switch on and off the app store settings. Such can be done in case he/she does not want to know about the availability of instant apps. 

Steps involved in the development of the Instant Ap

  • Planning on the requirements

    Before the development of an instant app, there is a need for planning the requirements of the application and its integration with the existing application. For the development of an instant app, there needs to be an existence of a fully functional mobile application. Further based on such the features or services are to be planned that are to be provided to the user through the instant application.

  • Decide on SDK (Software Development Kit)

    In the process of developing an instant application, it is important to consider the application size (so that it can be installed and operated smoothly with a single click). As well as it is important to look for compatibility with Google Play requirements for their standards for instant application.

  • Configure the project

    Google has strict guidelines and modules that define the development and execution of instant applications. Such a configuration process includes a focus on defining correct codes, module dependencies as well as correct code versions that can be run over the platform.

  • Test your Instant application

    Before launching the instant application it is important to test the application on devices/emulators or through manual testing. Such can help to experience the product before it is delivered to the user. Also, any experience gaps, and challenges in the application launch, as well as its functioning can be avoided.

  • Launch your application

    Post-testing of the application, the final launch of the application is to be done. In the launch process, the developer must check whether the instant app is available in the selected category and is ready for use or not. If the application is not active check the app release type and activate it (Release Management>Instant Apps).

Cost and Time required for the development of an instant app

Development of an instant app can take up to 4-6 weeks depending upon the service complexity offered by the application.

Instant apps can either be developed from scratch which may involve various stages or may be developed through integrating changes in the interface or modules for the existing applications.

Depending on the process adopted for the creation of an instant app, its cost may vary. Such costs can start from $20-$30 per hour (in India) and can go up to $40-$50  per hour.

For getting a detailed understanding of the costs involved in mobile application development or instant application development, you can interact with our professional application developers.


The technology and the approaches through which a brand interacts and serves its customers/users are transforming. Accordingly, there is a need to adopt key changes that can help in enhancing your brand presence and user satisfaction. In the process, Instant apps can be a game changer in the way a user interacts and engage with your business. So, if you are a business and are aiming towards the adoption of instant applications for your business, you can get in touch with our team of experts and professional developers.

Vervelogic can offer you multiple and advanced services for mobile application development and maintenance. Also, our professionals can assist you with branding through VerveBranding and digital marketing strategies through Verve Online Marketing that can help in your improved market positioning.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is Instant App the best option for improving user engagement for any kind of application?

The development and introduction of the Instant app are based on a number of factors including the application size, nature, and service delivered. So it is always better to get in touch with professional app developers and service providers who can help you with the instant app development process.

Which Android versions support Instant App on the user’s device

The devices having Android 5.0 (API Level 21) support the operations of Instant Apps.

What is the difference between a mobile app and an instant app, apart from size?

The mobile app is a full-fledged app comprising every feature/service offered, instant apps, on the other hand, offer only selected services to the users. Also, due to size limitations and its instant nature, it does not provide users with background services (notification). The instant application is not installed on the device hence it does not have access to the device’s external storage.

What is the time required for instant app development?

An Instant app as per the google pay guidelines can be developed within a time span of 4-6 weeks and may vary depending upon the project’s complexities.

Will instant apps continue to be among the leading trends of mobile app development?

The changing user requirements as well as increasing dependency on online services and applications will require more efficient applications and related services. Such will lead to the introduction of numerous applications providing required services to users. Hence, using instant apps will help your business to stand out from the competition and to ensure active engagement.

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