First and foremost, let's define exactly what are Android Instant Apps.
Basically, they are a small piece of your mobile application that enables end users to try a portion of your app features without having to install it first on their device. They can run instantly, and are discoverable everywhere (from the Google Play, Google Search, and inside social & messaging apps...).
Consumers can access them in two different ways: the first one being by clicking "Try Now" on any app with Instant App capability directly from the Google Play Store, or secondly, by clicking on a URL and jumping straight to a specific experience within an Instant App.
Please note that the second feature is disable by default, and that users will have to activate it by going to Settings > Google > Account services > Google Play Instant > Upgrade Web Link.
First introduced in 2016, they only became widely available last year, and adoption has been slowly but steadily growing. Good news for you if you didn't have one yet in your marketing strategy, we're still in the early days !
More than 20% of users are going to remove a mobile application after the first use, finding the features unsuitable to meet their specific needs; they are more likely to delete your app if they consider they have been misled at first. Android instant apps give consumers the opportunity to try and evaluate your app without having it to eat-up their storage space, as well as being able to try it instantly without the download/installation time it usually takes.
This is great, especially for e-commerce applications where a user would normally have to download an entire app to see a certain product at a certain price (from a link sent from a friend for example), and might just not do it in the end, whereas with Instant Apps the shopper would directly be taken straight into an app experience as he would with a website. Moreover, Instant Apps promote direct online purchasing thanks to the access to Android Pay, allowing logged in users to buy a product in a few clicks.
One of the other advantage is that Instant Apps are still native apps. They offer the same superior user experience than their website counterparts, with optimised animations, faster transitions and a native access to your device hardware APIs. All of this, without the need to download anything.
In order to fit in the Instant Apps criteria, your mini-app including your core features must remain within the threshold of 10MB in size.
Although only available on Android at the moment, we will expect Apple to come up with a similar feature in the next future.
If you're exploring the possibility to develop an Android Instant App for your business, feel free to reach out using our contact form.