Mobile Deep Linking Guide Helps Support Practice In Apps

by , Feb 27, 2014, 9:00 AM
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The ability to link to a specific section or piece of content on a Web site—deep linking—has become a ubiquitous feature of search and browsing online. But being able to click a link to specific content within a mobile app, or to launch an app, is still a nascent capability.
 
With people spending more and more time on mobile devices, and on apps in particular, the ability for consumers to open an app directly from a link—rather than driving to a site or app store—or a specific page within an app could be increasingly important for businesses and brands.
 
Some sites including Facebook and Twitter have already introduced mobile deep linking for opening their respective apps and linking to a users profile page or timeline. Twitter has also added the feature to its Cards platform, allowing companies to embed a link to content inside their app, or download it, depending on whether someone has the app installed already or not.
 
To help extend mobile deep linking more widely, a group of marketing technology companies including Criteo, TapCommerce and ActionX announced a specification and best practices guide to support the practice within apps. The Mobile Deeplinking Project aims to provide a common source of documents, sample code and SDKs to help enhance marketing campaigns.
 
The specification provides initial support for iOS and Android platforms, with support for Microsoft Windows eyed for release later this year.
 
“By providing a set of guidelines, tools and source code, we believe app developers will be able to enhance the user experience and increase app engagement,” said Jason Morse, vice president, Mobile at Criteo, in announcing the initiative Wednesday. The French company in January extended its display ad business to mobile apps.
 
TapCommerce and Action X offer tools for mobile ad retargeting to boost app engagement. Also collaborating on the effort to expand deep linking are app analytics and advertising firm Flurry and mobile ad exchange MoPub, acquired by Twitter last September.
 
The group said all materials will be hosted at mobiledeeplinkging.org to provide app developers a central location to learn about deep linking and participate in the development of the specification. All source code will also available on GitHub. The participating companies plan to provide additional features based on community feedback.

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