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Social media & apps: Why deep linking technology is so important

Why deep linking technology is so important

We’re often confused by new terminology, and while dark posts conjured up evil connotations, most of us draw a blank at hearing about deep linking.

It seems that Pinterest knows more about the value of deep linking, having just acquired deep linking technology company URX.

Put simply, Pinterest wants to ramp up its advertising revenue, and one avenue to do that is to ramp up visitors to specific content on the site. But here’s the catch, “the site” is mostly not the website but the app. With mobile accounting for more than 80% of its traffic, Pinterest needed to find a way to get people to the specific content asset, even if they to download the app on the way.

Information in apps doesn’t link simply

Unlike most of the information on the internet, content within apps is not publicly accessible. Normal links don’t work because apps have to be downloaded on a device, and even when they’re downloaded there is no standard way to find and share items. It’s specific to every app.

The solution is deep linking technology.

Deep linking solves the problem of clicking on links on a mobile which cycle through to the app store, which upon downloading the app, and leave you wondering what the specific item was that originally caused you to click on the link.

Let’s say that an offer appears in a Tweet which interests you “80% off Nike gym gear 10,000+ items” and you click on the link. What you need to happen is to be taken to the offer. But the offer may be within an app, and you may not have that app loaded on your phone. Deep linking will take you to the app store, prompt you to download the app, and then open the app at the exact offer within the app.

In other words without deep linking the user experience is awkward and the journey to the target is disrupted. Deep links facilitate a non-disruptive user experience. In simple terms it you to get to a specific location within an app as simply as getting to a web location.

Deep links know when you have the app installed

The other annoying problem that deep links solve is when you get an email from Linkedin, tap the link, end up in Safari being asked to log in to the mobile website even though you have the app installed.

This scenario also plays out in Twitter when you click on links, go to an article, click on share to Twitter and it asks you to log in to the mobile website even though this whole chain originated from you using the Twitter app.

In summary, deep links facilitate a more pleasant user experience, and one in which businesses such as Pinterest will be able to seamlessly direct people to specific Boards and specific pins on boards from links in other social and web streams.

Boosting app sign-ups and engagement with deep linking

This will eliminate the drop-out currently being experienced between the link and the specific content which Pinterest wishes you to see, which may well be advertising content. In fact it is reported that using deep linking boosts app sign-ups by 80% and engagement by 100%. That represents good news for Pinterest’s shareholders, and explains one part of their interest in acquiring deep linking technology.

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