Mobile user acquisition startup Tapstream has unified both deep links into existing apps on your phone or tablet and deferred deep links into a single solution, which it says will make navigating mobile apps more like navigating the web.
The result, CEO Slaven Radic says, is a jump in LTV and a drop in app abandonment.
“The big step forward here is that we’ve unified two types of deep links that would normally be serviced by separate vendors,” Radic told me via email. “The fracture meant it wasn’t easy for app marketers to roll out deep link campaigns for both existing users and newly acquired users, so they had to choose which of these groups to focus on.”
Deep links allow publishers to send app users “deep” into apps, to a screen or section of the mobile app that is relevant. Instead of having to arrive at the front door every time, users can go straight to the functionality or screen they need. Deferred deep links enable that functionality even if the user has to go install the app first. Unifiying the two means that user acquisition and user re-engagement efforts don’t have to maintain two separate sets of links, and publishers don’t have to engage two separate sets of functionalities — potentially from multiple vendors — in order to have a complete deep-linking strategy.
This functionality is particularly useful for linking between the mobile web and mobile apps.
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Amazon, for instance, can connect an existing user to his or her shopping cart in its mobile app, regardless of whether the user has installed the company’s app yet. Marketers can create — and actually use — in-app landing pages, and developers can pre-fill registration forms with already-known data.
All of which makes a simpler, more seamless, and better customer experience.
Naturally, there’s competition in the space. Radic says, however, that this new implementation is better for app makers and users.
“Deep linking is complex. To do it right, a solution needs to work across all major platforms pre- and post-app install, and be able to scale elegantly to handle complex URL schemes in the case of e-commerce and content-heavy apps,” he says. “Nobody has built a holistic solution that could address all three requirements until now.”
Tapstream provides deep linking services for free, but to get the “full deferred deep link support,” you’ll need an integration into your app. When that’s in place, your app will reach out to Tapstream’s servers on the web, get the desired location along with any additional parameters, and then be able to present a customized or even personalized experience to your users.
Tapstream’s unified deep links compete with other deep linking solutions from URL-shortening Bitly and URX. DeepLink.me and Facebook also have deep linking capability.