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When browsing quora.com - a Q&A website I value for its lengthy and sometimes inspirational answers - I came across the following message on my mobile phone:

It shows a splash screen prompting you to download the Quora App from the AppStore. From what I can tell, this cannot be closed.

I encountered this message a lot in the last year or so and I‘m pretty annoyed by it because as far as I can tell it cannot be dismissed. However, as of now, Dec. 2019, the Quora App has pretty bad user reviews which is why I don’t want to download it. When clicking on one of the two options in the dialog, I‘m always redirected to the AppStore. As already mentioned, I see no way lf getting rid of this annoying dialog box. So my question is: What is the intention behind forcing users to take a look at an app, even if the user is perfectly fine using the mobile website?

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  • It can be dismissed by selecting "I already have the app." Yeah, at best it's poor phrasing but most likely this is intentional. As a side note - I have the app and have zero problems with it.
    – Mayo
    Dec 23 '19 at 13:59
  • This is what happens when you employ a bunch of people that don't really care about the product or their superiors' stupid requirements are more important than the User.
    – straya
    Jan 17 '20 at 4:14
  • Generally it would be helpful to the user to install the app for quicker access but this is a terrible implementation. I prefer to use the native install prompts of the browser where available. Jan 17 '20 at 14:43
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Push notifications to increase engagement

Where on the web most users' reflex is to dismiss those permission dialogues to start receiving push notifications from the website, on mobile apps that reflex is often opposite. (A quick search shows 5-15% opt-in rate on web vs. 50+% opt-in rate on native mobile app although sources are unknown to me and therefor not verified reliable). A mobile app therefore increases the chance of getting to reach your users and try to engage them and get them back opening and using the application.

Ad revenue

As you might know it's extremely difficult for a lot of companies that get most of their revenue from ads to stay afloat with the arrival of ad blockers. Facebook is in an ongoing battle against those ad blockers.
With a native app the company can keep control on what ads they'll show you. I don't know the difference in conversion between ads served on the web and ads served in a native app, but based on the fact that users spent more time in apps than on the mobile web (see number 12) user are likely to be exposed longer to native apps and a better conversion rate might be the direct result of that.

Btw, you can dismiss it by lying and saying you already have the app (the smaller link below the blue button). It's what we would call a "dark pattern". Tricking people in thinking they can't exit this popup without navigating to the app store because the option that will close the popup is basically a lie.

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  • Your last paragraph is incorrect, as the OP pointed out: "When clicking on one of the two options in the dialog, I‘m always redirected to the AppStore"
    – straya
    Jan 17 '20 at 4:15
  • @straya You're correct! Simply lying to the prompt by clicking "I already have the app" is not possible. Jan 18 '20 at 10:39
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An app might increase user retention, create habits for the user, send notifications to increase open rate and probably a better way to monetize the website through mobile ads. As for the user there are benefits if you use Quora frequently so it might be a win win situation yet it is bad to be almost forced into downloading it. There is this conflict that is infuriating because they almost force you to download the app. This happens for reddit, medium and many other websites.

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Install the Quora app and enjoy:

  • decreased Accessibility. E.g. no landscape support. Note: the top web browser apps do support landscape.
  • multiple prompts to login with a Google account, in a row. I count 3 prompts in a row to login with Google account on Android (this app is a joke).
  • be a party in copyright abuse as license attribution is not available to unauthenticated users.
  • a hybrid experience that doesn't feel right on any platform.

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