‘Deep-linking’ set to speed up convergence between mobile apps and the wider web
While a recent study from market research firm ABI Research estimates the number of mobile apps downloaded in 2013 at 56 billion, the content of these apps remains for the most part confined in standalone silos. Even though some social networks such as Twitter, with its deep-linking for Twitter Cards have already managed some degree of integration, there is still no universal open system. In order to overcome this gap, Quixey, the California-based ‘search engine for apps’ has now set up a system which generates deep links designed to enable users to navigate across from one app directly to a specific piece of content found in another, and to the rest of the web.
Deep-linking app-to-app and across the web
Quixey’s AppURL offers a two-fold service designed to create seamless links across app content. Firstly it generates a URL link for an app and secondly makes this app compatible with other links. Generating such links basically allows the user to move directly from one app to another – for instance from a Facebook profile to a restaurant review on Yelp – without having to go through an intermediary interface. This move means that apps can be integrated into the rest of the ‘http’ web. By clicking on an AppURL link from a smartphone you will be able to access the content of the app directly, or you can go to a download box if you have not yet installed that particular app on your device. Basically this means that apps will be seamlessly linked across devices and platforms. Quixey founder Tomer Kagan argues that this twofold generation of deep link and app URLs is set to meet a vital need in the overall digital ecosystem.
Common language to optimize app searches
Quixey is not immediately looking to monetize the AppURL deep link and URL generation service. The company has made documentation available to developers so that they can use the same code when developing their own links. The aim is in fact to develop a common code as fast as possible in order to bridge the gap between the different types of web content. Tomer Kagan stresses that “not every company should be redeveloping their own way of doing this. There should be a universal way of doing this which benefits everyone.” And if everyone develops these links integrating apps into the rest of the web, that could well speed up the development of high-performance hybrid search engines capable of listing both traditional web content and the contents of mobile apps.