User acquisition on mobile is difficult, and companies are chasing after any new method to get more customers to click that ‘Download’ button. According to a report from Re/code, Google has introduced a way for apps to stream their content directly on mobile through search results.
When a user searches for, say, a hotel booking in a city, Google will surface results from HotelTonight’s app in addition to standard search results. If a user — equipped with a phone that runs Android Lollipop or Marshmallow — clicks on the HotelTonight results and is on good enough WiFi, then Google will directly stream the HotelTonight app onto the phone.
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And this is not deep-linking — they don’t even need the app on their phone to get those results.
Streaming capabilities will work with HotelTonight and 8 other partners. Additionally, the company is starting a small pilot program to deliver search results for apps that are mobile-only. Previously, Google would surface data from companies that had search results also catalogued on the web — now, it seems that with the right permissions, Google will be able to index mobile apps.