Let user hide ads - good idea?

I am currently thinking of something.

What if we let the user the chance to hit a “hide this ad” button. In Robo Miner I always display Ads at the bottom of the screen. If there is no network available (or no ad) there is some sort of self-advertising displayed.

I am thinking of a small button, so the user can hide the ad - the add will appear again after - say - 10 or 15 minutes (or longer).

Youtube does it this way (you can switch of the ad) so it is already done out there. Also Fruit Ninja does it like this - they display the ad which you have to close by pressing a button

Some benefits:

Users may be more happy?
Users will tend to put more attention on the ads?

Will users get annoyed by it?
Users with big fingers may produce false clicks. But google itself does this on youtube so it can’t be that bad.

What do you think about it? That will surely let the impression rate drop for Robo Miner. Maybe I am a little bit mad but I think, that users who will click the ad away frequently never clicked the ad at all - so they may produce a false click at least …? xD

My fear is, when I integrate that feature and it doesn’t work out and I’ll desintegrate it again users could be annoyed because they lost a function which was already there xD
On the other side, if it IS annoying it may attract more users to buy an adfree versio (when I have one)

Advert networks send you adverts based on a few things. One of those is CTR. Another is impressions/day (moving average over 3 days as far as I can see).

Don’t let your impressions drop too far, or you will get sent crappy adverts that pay less… which means your CTR goes down… so you get sent even worse adverts!

I already find the maximum 120 seconds not appropriate for robo miner because ppl are playing the game and they will NOT disrupt during the game just because there is an interesting banner showing up just for some seconds. So I already would like to handle the refreshments by myself to raise the display time of a banner.

Also, what I can see is, that admob is sending mostly the same banners in a period - so it is quite useless to refresh them over and over - indeed it is possible that admob does analyse the click ratio of every user and have some technics to display a banner more often where it is more likely that they will click them - but again, why should I refresh that banner all the time…

Sure - instead of implementing a hide button I could try a refresh button xD - track them just to see if anyone is refreshing their ads xD but I don’t think so.

Also possible would be to initially hide that “hide-button” and after some period of playing activate it and giving the user the chance to get rid of it (for some time).

I think that could improve user experience - anyone thinking that this will make any problems with the admob ToS? … I mean the hide button is near the ad - it has to be … youtube does it, many big apps does it, so I wonder I this could led to any troubles with admob …

What I have been doing with my app Party Light is Showing ads on the menu screens and hiding them on the light effects screens after 30 secs. You may say you can not make any money hiding your ads, but I wanted to give the best user experience possible and still have some way to make money with a free version. Do you think switching to using a button so they can hide the ad themselves would be good for this app or do you think they would get annoyed since Ive been hiding it for them?

I think users will always be annoyed when they lose a feature xD

I already implemented it in my developer version of Robo Miner to play around with it a little bit and it works very well and found some more benefits of it:

When the user pushes this button to hide the ad you can be sure to have is attention (he had time to push the button) - that’s a good indicator to show the user something like telling about an adfree version.

After some Minutes (tried with 10 minutes) or when the user approaches the next mine or load a saved game the ads show up again. At this point it is like a non-obstrusive pop-up and should eliminate the banner-blindness.

Maybe I’ll hide the “close ad” button at the start and enable it after some minutes. Maybe I’ll even drop the auto-refresh completely and implement my own refresher to get a longer display-time.

Maybe that will raise the CTR and gives me a better CPC (and better ads will improve gameplay also :wink: )

I think the “close ad” button is a great idea. I had seen it in a few apps before, and I can’t see any real downside. Except maybe impressions, as @mind said. But if you’ve got enough volume, that shouldn’t matter much.

Ironically providing a way to remove the ad probably draws more attention to it, which could result in higher revenues :slight_smile: And it’s definitely something I would appreciate, as a user. With Robominer I tended to ignore the ad after a few minutes, and wish it would go away so I could click in that area. If it popped up again every time a game is saved, or paused, I don’t think that would be too annoying.

I think especially with Robo Miner it is true, that people tend to ignore it most of the time because they are just playing the game. That’s a waste of impressions somehow.

My plan is a little bit drastically: Raise the Refresh-Time to many minutes like 10 minutes or so (reload at new game and so on) - You can click the ad away so it is removed for 10 minutes (or so).

My Impressions will drastically shrink xD (currently 120sec auto-refresh and people are normally playing long times).

If I can come up with an ad-free version too, I could then display the “get the ad-free version” instead of the ad and so does not waste any room for it. Until that I have a nice animation where the robot annoys you with telling about my website, facebook group and such things xD So you get still some ads, but only nice looking “selfpromoting” ones (which cannot be clicked)

Also the robot will react when you click away the ad - so it’s kinda integrated somehow xD

That’s genious! Have a close button that closes the ad for say 5-10 minutes. Then it pops up again and the user can close it again. But whenever the user closes it, you could show a message that tells them about the ad-free version and lets them buy it! That would probably work great!!

I still can’t believe that people actually click on ads inside of a game… I don’t think I would ever do that! If I’m playing, I’m playing :stuck_out_tongue: But they do.

So I’ve never really liked in-game ads as much as I like app walls and full-screen ads like that…

Do you know games, which get boring at some point but at the next day you have to play it again? I know several such games.
Now, when you get to the boring phase - and you’ll get an interesting ad - you will click it - I would click it also if it makes me curious.

Sometimes I when I play my own games, I get curious about an interesting ad but am not allowed to click it arg

There is also another thing - the situation in which ppl play your game. When they are bored or waiting for something like in the bus or at the doctor. Maybe they just play your game because they do not have anything else to do -> best time to show them ads.

You see, there ARE situation where people tend to click an ad. There are also people who never click an ad - they are afraid of it or just because they don’t like ads at all.
Now giving THOSE users the ability to close the ad → they will do it and so they will look on the ad and maybe they are losing their fear …

I am just implementing some features to Robo Miner and then will release the ad-close-option-update … let’s see how it will perform. Nothing to lose I think xD

So, it seems I am ready with the next update of Robo Miner and had made some new features to it, fixed some bugs and such things, so the update have some more value for the users.

In this update the close-ad button will be available and the auto-refresh will be turned off. I have implemented my own refresher which is currently set to 10 minutes.

So each ad is shown for 10 minutes - if a user clicks to close button, the banner disappears for 10 minutes. After that time a new ad is loaded and presented to the user.

Also, when the user loads a game or proceed to the next level the ad is reloaded and visible again.

When the ad get’s closed, the users see my own advertisement - nothing special just info about the facebook group and my website (all non-clickable so it never interrupts the user).

Also, when the ad gets closed the Robo talk to the user, that he has scared the ad xD - just a funny joke xD

I believe I will release the update later this day - there are still users whos savegames get deleted by android when updating the app - thanks to the manufacturers! they does not include google hotfixes for their android versions.

And also thanks to google themselfs, that the dev is not able to answer comments in the store xD

With this update I expect a massive drop in impressions (currently >100k/day at 120sec refresh) because of turning the refresh programmatically to 600sec. On the other side I expect also a massive gain in CTR (currently ~2.5%) due to more attraction and reaction-time for the user.

I do not expect false clicks - sure, the button is small (to not cover game elements) but it is easily to hit, if users do complain to hard about it, I may make it bigger, I also have no experience about different screen sizes, I can only check on my galaxy Ace and my Asus TF101 (need a Nexus…)

Just tried the new update. I do like the close button. Although it feels a little bit like that constantly updating ticker (talking about your website & Facebook page) is an ad as well. I’d personally feel more comfortable if that space was just left blank when the ad isn’t there.

this ticker was initially supposed to replace ads when no internet is available. I left it in to try promoting the facebook pages.

I am thinking about giving this space some more sense by talking gossip (less frequency), funny things or even game info. But currently I wanna try out how revenue changes through less ad impressions.

I just need to care to not place any needed information there because that could be interpreted as ad fraud I fear.

I still have not buried the idea of the adfree version (IAP) so it would be good to have this space used somehow. (If adfree gets available I will put the “buy adfree” button there)

Ok, cool. I look forward to hearing what the results are from your ad trial.

It’s amazing how quickly we can iterate with Android apps now :slight_smile: Just a few years ago, all you could do was publish desktop apps. And at that stage it could be years between product releases!

It’s very helpful on smartphones, that you don’t have to care for deployment - that makes a big part of the “old” process on desktop apps which was a pain - you were forced to code your own updaters all the time xD

Steam seems to be a good approach on desktop games - problem is that users expect far more from a desktop game than from a phone game xD

If Robo Miner is ready, I will give it a try and send it to steam for approval, just to see xD

The new version is out for some days and it’s time to look at some numbers. It is ont very approproate because I cannot be sure, that these numbers does reflect anything, so it’s just guessing xD

Currently - because of older versions - I left the AutoRefresh active (120sec) and also just to see if it makes any difference.

So the new version gives the user the ability to hide the ads for 10mins by clicking on a close button next to the ad. I have not told this “feature” in any way in the app or in the description at market, just to see if user get it themselves.

The last 2 days I see a drop in CTR but the Imps/day do not look like they have changed, so that is maybe more because of bad ads at the moment i guess.

Today (just in that moment) I have turned off AutoRefresh and Robo Miner is now refreshing every 10 minutes manually.

Over the next days I will see what happens - theoretically, the CTR should climb up because the imps goes down.

Robo Miner had a very steady 1k downloads per day and it does not seem to change xD

I got some more likes on the Robo Miner Facebook Pages, so the ingame “ads” for that seemed to work a little bit.

I hide ads during the game on phones but leave them be on tablets in one game - but it’s probably a bad solution because even though the game get very good reviews I get little ad requests from it.

Showing InGame Ads does work only when there is no time factor during game play - that’s true for Robo Miner, you can leave the app every time without losing anything.

With Minesweeper: Unlimited it’s different, because there is time involved and ppl will not leave during a game. That’s why there is auto-refresh turned off and ad is reloaded when entering menu (but shown all the time). Unfortunately Minesweeper has to less userbase so I cannot tell if that is working well xD with Mopub it’s a little bit better now than with admob alone.

Curious how Robo Miner will do with the new system … also curious if I should switch Robo Miner to MoPub as well…

My buddy came to visit this weekend and I told him to fire up RoboMiner, knowing that he would end up losing sleep just to play, haha. I was right. It’s a great game!! :slight_smile:

Love to hear that :slight_smile: I have so much more ideas in my head and so less time xD

For the new ad experiment: The CTR today was 1% more than normal and the impressions was half than normal.

Not so bad, when considering that the refresh rate is now 5x longer than before. As always, I will know it completely tomorrow at 16:30 (GMT+0) when all data is there, what was really going on, but my comparison is made to “uncorrected” numbers, i know from the days before.

I have to admit, that the revenue is also less than before, not halfed but noticeable less, let’s see how this will go the next days :wink: