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The Effect of Facebook’s App Links

The social networking site wants to standardize the way traffic is routed between mobile apps with the introduction of App Links.

Twitter has already invested in mobile deep app linking.

Facebook’s App Links will result in standard cross-platform linking between apps and contribute significantly to Facebook’s advertising revenue.

So, how does App Links work?

App Links helps app developers understand how they can send users who are clicking on a link within an app to the app that corresponds to the link. Facebook has launched Software Development Kits (SDKs) for the use of developers on all major platforms.

For example, you click on a link to a Flickr photo album on an email in the Mailbox app. The Mailbox app will check if the Flickr website header has App Links tags showing deep links for the Flickr iOS, Android or Windows phone apps.

Mailbox then sends the user to the deep links found in the App Links header tags on Flickr’s website for your device. If you have installed the Flickr app, Mailbox will send you to the correct deep link and if you haven’t installed the app, you will be directed to the Flickr website.

Advantages of App Links Adoption for Facebook and Marketers

The adoption of App Links will provide Facebook with data from App Links tags and the Facebook App Links Hosting API in its App Links API. Armed with this data, Facebook can understand how web links map to deep links in iOS, Android and Windows apps.

It will offer marketers the ability to create one campaign that can run across different channels: desktop web, mobile websites and mobile apps. If the App Links adoption takes root, Facebook can do this by leveraging its App Links Index.

You will then be able to add a web link and an image into the Facebook Ad Editor for a re-engagement campaign. You only need to add App Links tags to your website for users to be directed to your website after clicking your ad. If a user clicks on your ad from the Facebook mobile app, Facebook can check its App Links Index for App Links tags on the destination and direct the user to the app page.

With this new introduction, Facebook can start persuading its desktop marketers to launch re-engagement campaigns on mobile with no account changes. Facebook can also convert all ad campaigns to web and desktop cross platform campaigns like Google’s Enhanced Campaigns in 2013.

The App Links adoption will also spur Facebook’s recently launched in-app mobile ad network, Audience Network. When your app publishes an ad, Facebook can read the App Link tags of the destination URL or look at its App Links Index, to know what deep link needs to be launched if the user has installed the associated app.

Roadblocks to App Links Adoption

  • Both the referrer and the destination apps must support the App Links standard if the user is to be sent to the destination app.
  • Facebook will have to garner support from developers and major players like Google and Yahoo to support App Links so that when links are clicked in Gmail, Yahoo Mail or any popular app, the App Links standard is leveraged.
  • App Links helps with app to app linking. It does not support web to app linking.

Are you open to adopting App Links? Do you think it will help marketers and increase Facebook’s overall ad profits?

Image Source: altasproject

Team Position2

May 19, 2014

By Team Position2