Welcoming Lauren Nemeth to URX

I’m thrilled to announce that Lauren has joined the URX team as Chief Revenue Officer.   

Lauren has spent the last decade at Google, Doubleclick, and AppNexus helping digital media companies increase their revenue with programmatic buying and real-time marketplaces.  She’s sold everything from video to mobile to social and will be working closely with our partners to help scale their business.

I’m also personally excited to work with her to evaluate the wide range of opportunities for our deep link search technology across the mobile landscape.  Bringing contextual relevance to mobile will require partnering with the most innovative companies in the industry and Lauren is the perfect person to lead our efforts.  


The URX Debrief - May 19

Facebook: Deep linking for app install ads

When a person taps on a mobile app install ad on Facebook, the developer can choose to send them to a specific place in their app after it's downloaded, such as a product page rather than the homepage.— Facebook Developer Blog

Facebook launches instant articles

Publishers can have the same tools as an app developer. They’re not stuck with what the mobile web can offer. — TechCrunch.

Facebook’s new in-app search could be a Google nightmare

“We’re piloting a new way to add a link that’s been shared on Facebook to your posts and comments,” a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to WIRED. Simply put: This is Facebook’s in-app, in-house search engine. — Wired

Google adding buy buttons from search results

Google will launch buy buttons on its search-result pages in coming weeks, a controversial step by the company toward becoming an online marketplace rivaling those run by Amazon and eBay. —Wall Street Journal

Google touts mobile marketing tools

Google launched a host of mobile marketing tools including cross-device attribution, new bidding tools, and custom mobile units for the auto, hotel, mortgage industries. —Inside AdWords

URX launches deferred deep linking for AppViews

Users can now install an app from inside another app and then be taken directly to the most relevant destination after the download completes. —URX Blog

Deferred Deep Linking with AppViews

One common problem of linking users to other apps is dealing with the fact that they may not have the app installed.  Today, we've added a new way for iOS developers to link to other apps using AppViews called deferred deep linking.  The user can install the new app from inside the current app and then be taken to directly to the right spot when it is finished downloading.

When a user wants to download a new app, a modal view of the App Store opens inside the publisher app.  If the user decides they aren’t interested, then they can close the modal and return to their current experience.

If the user decides to download the app, it begins to download in the background.  The user can then continue browsing in the current app.  When the download is finished, the user is given the option to enter the new app at exactly the right place.

Our SDK makes it easy to customize the entire experience other than the App Store download page (StoreKit).  It posts notifications about the progress of the download so you can modify the loading screen, opening screen, and call to action when the app is ready to open. It’s also important to note that no changes or code are required in the destination app to get this working - deferred deep linking will work for any iOS app in the URX index.

Deferred deep linking is available for our iOS Widget SDK and general iOS SDK. Existing AppViews developers can upgrade easily by updating a single method.  Now, any iOS developer enabling AppViews to let their users listen to music, find event tickets, or book a ride will be able to leverage deferred deep linking to give their users a better experience.


Webinar with Bitly

Earlier this week I recorded a webinar with Matt Thompson, Chief Product Officer at Bitly, on how marketers can use deep links to improve user experience.  It contains an overview on how you can use deep links to engage your users, how you can take advantage of the Google, Facebook, and Twitter initiatives, and how partnerships with other apps can help your app get discovered at the right time.

I've embedded the slides below and the video of the webinar can be accessed here. Check it out!

Sign up on our dashboard or shoot us a note at info@urx.com if you have any questions or are interested in learning more about promoting your app with AppViews.


Add a Lyft Button to Your iOS App in 4 Simple Steps

Here's how to add a Lyft button to your iOS app in 4 simple steps:

1. Download the URXSearch.framework file from the URX iOS SDK Github repo and drag it into your app in Xcode:


2. Add an 'Obj-c' Linker Flag in your Build Settings and add your URX API Key to your Info.plist file in Supporting Files. (Generate a URX API Key here.)

3. Add an IBAction method to your ViewController.m file to query the URX API

Copy and paste the code below into your ViewController.m file. This code block (Gist here) creates a query against the URX API with a domain filter on Lyft.com. The query returns results from only Lyft and, when fired, the action resolves a user to the first Lyft result.

- (IBAction)buttonTapped:(id)sender {
    URXDomainFilter *query = [URXDomainFilter domainWithPLD:@"lyft.com"];
    [query searchAsynchronouslyWithSuccessHandler:^(URXSearchResponse *response) {
        URXSearchResult *result = [response.results firstObject];
        [result resolveAsynchronouslyWithWebFallbackAndFailureHandler:^(URXAPIError *error) {
            NSLog(@"error=%@", error);
    } andFailureHandler:^(URXAPIError *error) {
        NSLog(@"error=%@", error);

4. Create a UIButton in your Main.storyboard file in Xcode and hook it up to the buttonTapped: method in your ViewController class

Drag a UIButton onto your Main.storyboard, click the button and show the Connections Inspector:

Now select the "Touch Up Inside" event in the "Sent Events" section of your Connections Inspector, point it to your ViewController and select the buttonTapped action:

Now just re-build the app on your mobile device. Tapping the button you've created will resolve users into the Lyft native app if it is installed, or to Lyft.com on the mobile web if the Lyft app is not yet installed. 


Please contact me at n@urx.com if you have any questions or if you'd like to chat about getting paid for this integration. Lyft is just one of over 100 apps in the URX index.

And let us know when your Lyft button goes live. We're all about showing off URX integrations on our site and on our blog.

Other Helpful Links:

The URX Debrief - May 4

Start-ups try to challenge Google

“The most obvious difference with mobile is that people have their phones with them all the time, giving search companies lots of contextual clues – like location – for what they might want.” —New York Times

Bitly + URX webinar tomorrow!

How Marketers Can Use Deep Links to Drive User Experience — Learn from the leaders in web links and deep links. The webinar is this Tues, May 5th, at 11am PST.

DeeplinkSF event content is online

Thanks again for everyone who joined us last month at DeeplinkSF. Videos of the demos from Branch Metrics, Workflow, and URX plus panels featuring Google Now, Uber, Spotify and Yummly are available on our blog and YouTube channel.

Developers can integrate with Microsoft’s Cortana

Microsoft is now allowing third party developers to integrate content into Cortana, similar to what Google Now is doing with cards. —Search Engine Land

Google Now adds 70 partners

Zipcar, Spotify, YouTube, Opentable, Runkeeper, are among the newest apps to show Google Now cards on Android. —Google Search Blog

URX Q&A on ReadWrite

Mike Fyall, URX marketing lead, chatted with Matt Asay about the implications of deep links and how URX AppViews are able to make contextually relevant recommendationsfor users. —ReadWrite

Google’s war on apps

Greg Sterling argues that push notifications from the browser and the physical web project are part of Google’s plan to lessen our dependency on apps—Marketing Land

DeeplinkSF Recap

URX hosted its Deeplinksf event on April 15th in San Francisco themed around mobile discovery and the future of inter-app communication. Over 250 people came to watch live demos by URX, Branch and Workflow and talks featuring Uber, Google Now, Spotify, Yummly and Rich Miner, the creator of Android.  Check out the sizzle reel for the highlights of the evening.

John Battelle, who moderated a panel between Miner, now a partner at Google Ventures, and Aparna Chennapragada, the head of Google Now, asked panelists if they expected to see the native app market achieve the same level of openness and ease of discovery as the web.

"I don't think things scale to the level you want if every interaction has to be done with a BD deal," Miner responded. "I think you have to break things apart so they can become more generally searchable and indexable."

The key issue, Miner added, is "a lot of the things that got built into apps historically probably don't need to be apps and ultimately will be unwound from being apps." For instance, anything that's a "consumable,” like a piece of content or product, does itself a disservice being trapped inside an app.

Atomizing native app content and providing developers with easy ways to link users into specific sections of apps is only part of the equation. There's payment standardization across apps and then there's also the installation problem.

"Installing an app is like marriage, and there's no dating in apps," said Chennapragada. "So is there a progressive commitment model for users?”

Scaling App Partnerships, hosted by Rich Wong and featuring representatives from Spotify, Uber, and Yummly, shared learnings from developers who are leading the way with cross-app experiences today. 

Watch full-length versions of the panels and live demos, and sign up to attend the next one at Deeplinksf.com.

"The Future of Mobile Discovery"

"Scaling Via App Partnerships"

URX Demo

Workflow Demo

Branch Demo

Webinar with Bitly: Deep linking for Marketers

Join Matt Thomson, Chief Product Officer at Bitly, and myself for an overview of deep linking for mobile marketers. I'm looking forward to hearing the perspective from the company who has been analyzing web links since 2008. The webinar will be next Tuesday, May 5th, at 11am PST.

Sign up today to save your seat!

Deep links are revolutionizing how marketers engage with with their customers on mobile - make sure you are ready to take advantage!



AppViews in a Nutshell

The Warriors came back from 20 down in the 4th quarter last night to beat the Pelicans in the NBA Playoffs.  Blue Man Hoop, a Fansided property, fills readers in on the details while helping users find deals for Game 5 with AppViews.

Want to add AppViews to your site?  Its super easy with our new self service dashboard.  First, sign in and create your site or app.  Second, select your action to display, in this case Find Event Tickets.

Enter a sample URL to get a feel for the results.  If you add the link to the Blue Man Hoop article, you can click on the preview unit and it will send you to the SeatGeek result.

Then select “Get the Code” and paste it into your site!  It is pre-populated with your test API key to get started.  When you are ready to go live, swap it out with your production API key.  

Thats it - you’ve enhanced your experience with relevant actions!  Sign up today at dashboard.urx.com or contact us at support@urx.com if you have any questions.

Do I have to open an app to use it?

One of primary discussion topics last week at Deeplinksf was the future of the user interactions with apps - will we always need to actually open another app to engage with its content or functionality?  

At the end of the URX demo, someone asked me if you could use deep links to kick off an action in another app - like listening to a song in Spotify - without leaving the current app you are in.  So I hacked a solution.

I added an AppView to a mobile web page site with the lyrics of Flying Lotus. When clicked, the link opens the Spotify app in the foreground.  The Spotify app, recognizing that I am not yet logged in, prompts for login credentials, and then starts playing in the background.  The user is then free to continue browsing while listening.

Android and iOS make this easy through the use of background services in mobile apps, allowing Spotify to continue providing their music streaming services, even while another app (the web browser) remains in the foreground.

These type of smooth interactions between apps aren’t hard to implement today, they just haven’t been highlighted to developers by the platform providers.