Mobile deep linking service Deeplink.me is today launching its new ad SDK, aimed at app developers, into beta. Created by Cellogic, which also offers deep linking tools to developers and marketers, and whose related retargeting network launched last summer, the SDK will help developers drive both paid and organic traffic to other applications on the network, as well as receive traffic in return.
Founded in 2010, Cellogic had been working on a content discovery network for mobile called Nextap, but along the way realized there was a broader need for a deep linking service. The company launched Deeplink.me in May of last year, offering developers and marketers tools to build smarter links that can direct users to the right place inside an app installed on their phone when tapped, to a mobile landing page if the app is not installed, or if clicked from a non-mobile device, the links direct users to the appropriate landing page on the web.
To date, adoption of the Deeplink.me service is in the “single thousands,” says Cellogic CEO Itamar Weisbrod, and includes participation from several medium and large app publishers. Though he couldn’t provide all the names, some customers include JackThreads, Threadflip, YPlan, a Japanese shopping app called Fril, and King.com. (Some of these links we spotted by searching Twitter, to be clear.)
Weisbrod explains that 50% of the Deeplink.me traffic has been iOS, 25% Android and the other 25% mobile web. The top use cases today include social (posting mobile deep links to Twitter or Facebook), email marketing, and advertising.
“People were integrating Deeplink.me links and just replacing whatever landing page URL they were using in their ad campaign with our links,” Weisbrod says. “It automatically enhanced their ad campaign, and made it a deep link campaign.”
The deep linking service had been free to use, but the company is now planning to implement pricing for higher volume traffic.
The New SDK: Native Unit & Native Traffic Combined
As for the mobile app SDK coming out of private alpha testing today, the idea is to bundle the linking service even deeper into mobile applications. This puts Deeplink.me more in competition with other companies like TapCommerce, URX or Appsfire, for example, which also offer tools for deeplink-enabled mobile ads and other re-engagement solutions. (Update: Appsfire CEO Ouriel Ohayon has messaged us with a complaint that Deeplink.me’s solution looks too similar to his own.)
With the Deeplink.me SDK, the company will introduce for the first time an ad unit of its own which is designed to look more like the app itself. What’s different from other retargeting solutions is that not all of Deeplink’s app-to-app traffic will be paid. The idea is to instead combine both paid and organic traffic which will allow developers to benefit from the natural flow of users’ activity while moving around between their apps.
“By having this AI engine, we’re going to understand more what people are doing in their apps. We’re going to start recognizing patterns,” says Weisbrod. “What we’re taking into account is how you use the apps you have on your phone, and how that plays with how we recommend what app to go to next.”
That is, the SDK is not only about offering developers a way to make money, but also a way to help apps establish their place in users’ daily “flow.” The idea is basically the next iteration of Nextap, the content recommendation service Cellogic had been developing before building Deeplink.me. Now the two are effectively merging together.
In addition, the SDK not only makes it easier to facilitate the end-to-end traffic between apps, it will offer a few other benefits too. “Once we launch in the spring, there will be a lot of features app developers can make use of for retargeting, for engagement, for link building,” notes Weisbrod. Plus, he says it will make the pages inside apps easier to be found. For example, via Google’s new deep link-based App Indexing?
“Yes, the SDK will help with things like that,” he confirms.
There will always be the free tier for the Deeplink.me links, but the company will generate revenue for higher usage of that service as well as through the retargeting network. The SDK, however, is free to use during the beta.