DeepviewsFood and DrinkMarketingTechnicalWeb to App

Branch Deepviews: The Missing Link in App Discovery

By August 5, 2015 11 Comments

Today we’re excited to announce Deepviews – a tool to help you bridge the gap between new users and your native app.


Deepview n. [deep-vyoo]

A browser-based rendition (splash page) that is visible on desktop or mobile web, of content that resides within a native app, accompanied by a deep link that routes the user to the appropriate content within the app.

Examples of Deepviews

1. “When a user clicks on one of our links, they see a Deepview if they don’t have the app. Otherwise, they get taken straight to our app.”

2. “We use Deepviews as our desktop splash page for our app, with an SMS-to-download field that sends a deep link to users’ phones, allowing them to download the app.”

3. “Deepviews allow for more organic growth since our native app is now discoverable and viewable on web search.”

Origin of Deepview

First Known Use: New product naming brainstorm session, Branch offices, Palo Alto, July 2015.

Related to Deepview

Deep links, mobile web splash, Branch links, interstitials.


A Deepview is a Preview of Your App Content

You’ve seen them. Generic interstitials that prohibit people from using the mobile website with the intention of driving an app install. A user clicks on a link and is taken to a full page advertisement for the app. It’s basically the worst.

Thousands of apps use Branch deep linking to route users to the right page after they install the app. We wanted to take this to the next level and give app developers the ability to route users to the right page before they install. What started out as a suggestion from a few developers in the Branch community has turned into a full-fledged product offering. We’re excited to unveil it today.

Branch Deepviews are previews of your native app content that are:

  • dynamically created
  • automatically formatted
  • fully customizable
  • desktop or mobile web compatible

Branch Deepview for App Discovery

Every Deepview comes loaded with a download call-to-action (CTA), powered by a deferred deep link, that will route users to the App Store and give them a personalized post-install experience. If a user already has the app, the Deepview will not be shown and the user will be taken directly to the content in the app after they click on the link.

iHeartRadio Deepview Userflow

You can enable Deepviews on our dashboard with the flip of a switch for all Branch links, or control them on a per link basis.

How Does it Work?

When you create a Branch link, you have the option to set many different configuration options. One of these options is Open Graph (OG) tags, which dictate how the link is displayed on Facebook and other channels that show link previews. In order to dynamically generate a Deepview, we’ll first attempt to read the title, description and image URL OG tags that you have provided. If you don’t provide these, we’ll scrape them from the provided desktop URL. Note: If you don’t provide OG tags or a desktop URL, we’ll have nothing to work from to create your Deepview.

Once we have the high-level information about the content, we dynamically populate a template that you have selected with all of this information so that it appears in a beautiful, rich post when a user clicks a link. You’ll even be able to add your own templates on top of the few we provide.

From an analytics perspective, we track the views, CTA clicks, and the number of installs. If the user has the app, and it’s opened right away, we’ll show that as well. With this, you know exactly how this funnel is working and what you need to do to optimize.

Deepview Analytics Dashbaord

What If I Already Have a Website?

So you think this sounds awesome but you’re really proud of the website and beautiful interstitial that you’ve already built. Don’t worry. You can easily add our web SDK and a Branch link to power your interstitial to turn your existing mobile web page into a Deepview.

The simplest way to do it is to generate Branch links for every share message that goes out and point their fallback URLs to the mobile site. Next, install the Branch web SDK and dynamically create a link that will power the interstitial. This gives you the click-view-install tracking plus powerful post-install deep linking that you’d get with a Deepview, all hosted on your site.

You can read how to do this on our documentation portal.

What Results Can I Expect From a Deepview?

Branch has been testing Deepviews with our select launch partners, 9Gag, Yummly, WeHeartIt, iHeart Radio, AllTheCooks, TheChive, and Close5, and we’ve seen amazing results.

For AllTheCooks, a recipe-sharing app shown below, Deepview links have a click-to-install rate of 22.4%. This is compared to a click-to-install rate of 2.9% for links that route users directly to the app store, resulting in an over 6x increase in link click-to-install rates. 

deepview-email2

Across all of the apps we’ve tested, we’ve seen a 2 to 6 times increase on average in link click-to-install percentage for users that see a Deepview before going to the app store.

Why are Deepviews so Effective?

When a user clicks on a link that you’ve provided, they’re making an emotional investment in you. To meet these expectations, you have to deliver some sort of contextual satisfaction based on their intent when they click the link. Deepviews hit the conversion sweet spot between satisfying a user’s intent with a preview of content and motivating them to pursue more within the app.

Deepviews have been designed to magnify the purchase intent by offering a large, engaging image preview, a brief item description, and a single call-to-action, channeling the user naturally into the app.

Deepviews also lead to engaged users, not just installs. By deep linking immediately to the Deepview content after install, you can provide a completely continuous experience that engages new users from the first time they open the app. As seen in our case studies, this increases three-day retention by 2x.

How Do I Get Started?

Starting today, Deepviews are available to all Branch partners for free, just like the rest of our deep linking platform.

If you’re new to Branch, get started with Deepviews at start.branch.io or click on the Get Started button below.

If you’ve already integrated the Branch SDK, enabling Deepviews is easy as pressing a button – you can find more detailed instructions here.

DeepviewsSetup-1

We’re incredibly excited to provide the developer community with this new product. We believe Deepviews will be an essential tool to help drive app discovery by exposing the content within the app to new users.

Branch is a mobile linking platform providing unified mobile experiences and measurement for more than 27,000 mobile apps, including Airbnb, Slack, Reddit, Tinder and Amazon. Branch’s free linking platform can help you grow your mobile app through features like deep linking, sharing, referrals, mobile banners and interstitials, custom app onboarding, and unified attribution across platforms and channels. Learn more about Branch.
  • Andy Simon

    the link to find more detailed instructions goes to a blank page – tested on 2 browsers.
    https://dev.branch.io/deepviews

  • Patrick Albin

    Hi there, I can not seem to locate the 20 Deepview templates mentioned in the post. Thank you.

    • Mada Seghete

      Hi Patrick, that was a typo in our blog. We only have one template, but in the next couple of weeks we will allow you to customize it and create your own!

  • Patricio Rocca Huguet

    Previously than having the deepviews, which was the funnel to get from a click-to-install link to the appstore? How is the chrome/safari auto-redirect restrictions impacting your funnel in the past? #giveussomeguidance

    • Alex

      Hey Patricio – great question. Let me shine down some guidance on you. With the auto redirects in Chrome and Apple’s new Universal Links, we’ve configured deepviews to only show when the app is not currently installed. That way, you can deep link the user using our callback router when the app is installed, and rest easy that a deepview will be shown to anyone without the app. It works in perfect symphony.

  • http://unity3diy.blogspot.co.uk/ Nabeel Saleem ⒹⒶ

    Hey @disqus_bl1M5LqGXp:disqus @madalinaseghete:disqus
    i am getting some error and and asked in stack overflow can you please give me guidance here
    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/32937112/ios-app-url-missing-giving-error-setting-up-branch-io-for-blogger-website

    • Alex

      Hey Nabeel – I just replied on your StackOverflow question. That should help! Good luck and happy linking.

  • Nick Longinow

    @Alex is the most interesting technical writer I’ve read in a long time. No kidding, makes the content terrific.

  • Javier Querol

    Is there a way to make a A/B test between different deepviews?

    • Alex Bauer

      Nothing currently built in, but you could definitely set up your own test! You’d need to configure two different deepview templates, and then randomly assign them to specific links as those links are generated. As long as you also set some identifiable analytics tags for the links, you can manually compare the results or automatically forward the data over to one of our Data Integrations partners (https://branch.io/data-integrations/) for analysis.

      You might also be be interested in the new Journeys product we just launched (https://branch.io/journeys/). This does support A/B testing.