What is an Interstitial Ad?

An interstitial ad is a type of advertisement that covers the interface of their host application or website and appears between content transitions. Typically, these ads are displayed before or after an expected content page, often at natural transition points in the flow of an application, such as between activities or during pause moments in games. Unlike banner ads or other forms of advertising, interstitial ads command the user’s full attention by taking up the entire screen, making them highly noticeable but also potentially intrusive if not used correctly.

Benefits of Interstitial Advertising

High Visibility

Due to their full-screen format, interstitial ads are highly visible and can capture the user’s attention more effectively than other ad formats. This visibility makes them particularly useful for promotions aiming to generate strong impressions and immediate engagement.

Better Engagement Rates

Interstitial ads provide ample space for creative and interactive content, which can lead to higher engagement rates. Advertisers can use rich media, video, and other interactive elements to create compelling advertisements that engage users and encourage them to take action.

Effective at Monetizing Free Apps

For app developers, especially those offering free apps, interstitial ads are a popular choice for monetizing their applications without requiring direct purchases from users. These ads can be effectively placed at transition points without disrupting the user experience too severely.

Best Practices for Interstitial Advertising

Timing and Placement

The effectiveness of an interstitial ad often depends on its timing and placement. It is crucial to integrate these ads at natural stopping points where they are less likely to annoy the user. Poor placement can lead to high abandonment rates and negative user experiences.

Easy Dismissal

Users should be able to easily close an interstitial ad. Making the “close” button visible and accessible is critical to maintaining a positive user experience. Forcing users to interact with the ad can lead to frustration and potential app uninstallations.

Frequency and Duration

Managing the frequency and duration of interstitial ads is vital to avoid overwhelming the user. Ads should not appear too frequently, and their duration should be limited to ensure they do not deter users from continuing with the app or website.

Compliance with Platform Guidelines

Many platforms have specific guidelines on how and when interstitial ads can be used. For instance, Google has clear policies for interstitial ads on mobile devices to ensure they do not degrade the user experience. Adhering to these guidelines is essential to avoid penalties or bans.


Interstitial ads are a powerful tool in digital advertising, offering high visibility and engagement potential. However, their success largely depends on their thoughtful integration into the user experience. By adhering to best practices regarding timing, placement, and user control, marketers can effectively use interstitial ads to achieve their advertising goals while maintaining a positive relationship with their audience.