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Introducing the First Universal App Open Banner That Deep Links Past Install

By April 24, 2015 3 Comments

Here at Branch, our mission is to build a linking solution that enables every developer to think of their app more like the web. Every piece of content in an app should be available as an entry point into their mobile app. Are you looking for an awesome pair of shoes and want to buy them from the eCommerce app but you don’t have the app? When you click to open those shoes, the app should take you straight to the product, even if you didn’t previously have the app installed.

To this end, we are excited to introduce the first mobile app banner that works on any platform (desktop or Android or iOS mobile web) and links to the appropriate content whether or not the user has the app. You just need to drop our JavaScript Web SDK onto your site, and call the .appBanner() method with the required parameters.

Scenario 1: Mobile ‘View in app” Banner (for iOS and Android apps)

Our banner only has a single call to action, “View in App”, linking any additional parameter and data through install (and open). With other smart banners, if the user doesn’t have the app, the link would take them to install the app, but never keep them engaged with the content they were viewing. With our banner, that information persists, and once the app is installed, the link takes them back to the content that first drove the user to install in the first place.

How the universal banner works on mobile devices

Scenario 2: Desktop Text-me Banner:

The same smart banner that you use for mobile web will also work for your desktop browser. Let’s say your users are reading some awesome article on the your website but need to leave and want to continue reading it on their phone. Our desktop banner has a ‘Text me the App’ feature that will allow them to send a deep link to that article via text message. Even if they don’t have your reader app, it will take them to install the app, and right after install, they are taken to the article in the app to continue reading.

How the universal banner works on desktop

For all of you app developers out there, this means a much better onboarding experience and an awesome way to turn mobile and desktop users into app downloads. Moreover, Branch shows you every link that was created, clicked and how many installs came from banners on each platform, giving you unprecedented insights into how you are getting people into your mobile app.

Click insights

We would love to hear what you think. Give our banner a try and give us feedback by comenting below, coming to one of our meetups or just dropping us a line.


Sean is a full stack engineer at Branch Metrics , a full service, deeplinking solution for mobile apps. Branch links have the power to deeplink through app install and open, allowing the app developer to deliver a personalized post-install experience.

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.
  • Meester Bleester

    iOS apps like Twitter and Facebook run their own in-app browsers. You can’t push cookies into these browsers. If a user loads a web page w/ a banner in one of these in-app browsers, and the app is not installed, does your deep linking still work? Or, does the user need to return to the banner after installing, and click it again? Thanks.

    • Alex

      Hey Meester – it sure does. We just set a cookie to remember if the user installed the app on later visits, but it is not required for our deep linking to work. Hope this helps!

      • Meester Bleester

        It does, thanks. Will take a closer look.