A deep link is an address that redirects a user to any place in the app (content, section, particular screen etc). Deep links look similar to a URL-address – a URL-scheme, for instance, mobileapp://my_content. Such links can be opened on a mobile device by mobileapp only on condition that it is installed and is able to process the link (there are commonly known deep links that can be processed by several apps, e.g., geolocation geo://, video video:// and so on). Deep links are used in PUSH-notifications and advertising campaigns; they can be sent to app users so that they immediately go to the target screen and don’t need to look for the content.
Firebase uses “dynamic links” – smart links that make it possible to send both existing and potential users to a particular place in the app for iOS or Android devices. Dynamic links automatically identify the app platform and work after the installation. They can redirect even new users to a predetermined place in the app. To put it simple, the dynamic link is an Internet URL-address that performs a pre-set algorithm and redirects users. The main difference between deep and dynamic links lies in the fact that the latter can be opened on any device, and employ an HTTP or HTTPS system.
For creating dynamic link in Firebase, it’s necessary to envisage the following parameters:
1. Dynamic link setting. Dynamic links must have a URL-prefix and a short URL, for instance, https://mobileapp.page.link/short_url – in this case, a URL-prefix is https://mobileapp.page.link, and, respectively, short_url is a short URL.
2. Deep link setting. The dynamic link works regardless of whether or not the app is installed on the device. The desktop opens the deep link that employs an HTTP or HTTPS system and is set during the dynamic link creation.
3. Link behavior for iOS. The link to the content is opened in the app; if the app is not installed, the App Store page or a custom URL is opened. Additional settings include: a different app for iPad and App Store advertising campaign parameters.
4. Link behavior for Android. Just like for iOS – the link to the content is opened in the app; if the app is not installed, the Play Store page or a custom URL is opened.
5. UTM-assisted campaign tracking and meta-tags setting. Tracks will help track traffic channels and analyze their efficiency (the number of engaged users, conversions). Meta-tags imply the link heading, description and image – this is expected to increase the link conversion, and it will contain an appeal and a brief description.
Example of using dynamic links:
1. Redirecting website or social media users to equivalent mobile app content, including new users.
2. A “Share” option for existing users who want to send content to their friends. Moreover, users’ friends will be able to instantly open the content they were shared with and avoid wasting time on its search.
3. Traffic sources tracking and ad campaigns efficiency evaluation. Dynamic links can be used in e-mail and sms-campaigns and crowd marketing, incorporated into partner pages on social media, etc. Each link will provide analytics – the number of openings, installations, and conversions.