Introducing support for Universal & App Links

Joel Oliveira
Jul 27 2020
Posted in Product Updates

Taking your users where they want to go

We're pleased to announce support for Universal Links (iOS) and App Links (Android) in Notificare. As part of our Links feature, it is now available in all our plans for free. Start today, leveraging the potential of Dynamic Links that intelligently take your users from a web page, email or SMS to the right place in your mobile app.

Our Links feature has been gaining some traction since the last year. As a matter of fact, there are currently over a million active Links, providing our customers with an effective way of using a short URL to redirect or display content, while gathering precious analytics or automatically categorize users based on their behavior.

We are now extending support for iOS Universal Links and Android App Links. For those of you that are not aware of what these are, to keep it simple, it is the best way you can deep link content in your native mobile app from a link in a web page or a link in an email or SMS message. Basically, these links are able to discern if users have your app installed, and when that is the case, they will use your app's supported URL Schemes to automatically take users to a specific place in your app. On the other hand, when users do not have your app installed, you can define if they should instead see a web page fallback or if it should take them directly to the App Store or Google Play where they can install it.

In Notificare, we call these types of Links, the Dynamic Links. For these, we allow you to customize the URL address by registering subdomains for our short URL address - ntc.re. We call these, a prefix, and you can create as many as you want. To start configuring prefixes, you will find a whole new area in Settings > Services called Links:

There you will have a new section where you can quickly add one or more prefixes:

Once you've created your first prefix, you are now ready to start configuring the app stores related behavior. For a fully functional iOS Universal Link, you will have to provide us your app's App Store ID, Bundle ID and Team Bundle ID:

For Android App Links, we will need your app's Package Name and all the SHA-256 fingerprints you use to sign your development or production APKs:

After these have been saved, you are all set to start creating your first Dynamic Link.

In our Links area, when creating a new link, you now have a new option called Dynamic Link. When you select this option, you will be able to select one of the prefixes you've previously created:

Pretty much like our Redirect and Landing Page links, you will have to provide 3 URL addresses, a Web fallback and the URL Schemes for iOS and Android that your app already supports:

Optionally, if you've provided an App Store ID and an Android Package Name, you will also be able to define if your users should be redirected to the app stores when those links are opened in a mobile device where your app is not installed:

Additionally, like all the other types, you can also add segmentation rules that will automatically add or remove users to and from a Segment or a Tag:

Finally, when those links are opened, you can also define if certain custom events should be registered:

If you are not familiar with our custom events, they allow you to transform these interactions into actionable analytics. Besides gathering information about when these are executed, you can easily create follow up messaging opportunities when used in combination with our Automation add-on.

Once you've created your first Dynamic Link, you will get a branded URL that you can start sharing in social media, websites, email messages or SMS:

https://YOUR-PREFIX.ntc.re/abc123

These will automatically take your users to where they need to be, while gathering insightful metrics, and easily create user segmentation or automated follow-up campaigns.

Taking it further

These links are also ideal for the upcoming App Clips functionality in iOS 14 and Android Instant apps (which has been around for some time). Using these links to promote apps and foster user acquisition will be a huge 2021 trend, with brands leveraging how users can preview apps by simply clicking a link or by scanning a NFC tag and QR Codes.

Are you up for it?

We've made it as easy as possible to tap into this functionality, so grab your own branded short URL right away and start driving mobile web traffic directly into your mobile app's content. As always, we are available via our Support Channel if you have any questions.

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