Bitly Now Lets Brands Track Links By Channel

What Happened
Popular link-shortening service Bitly has added a new measurement tool named Bitly Campaigns, which allows marketers to create and track links across multiple channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, web pages, emails, text messages, or even within an app (Bitly supports deep-linking within a destination app). It also helps marketers easily compare the campaign performance across all paid and earned media channels in a dashboard.

What Brands Need To Do
Previously, Bitly would provide brands with some basic channel tracking based on getting refer data from a location’s source. But since not all channels pass on refer info (such as SSL encrypted sites, apps, and texts), marketers have been calling for a more sophisticated channel-tracking tool. Bitly Campaigns follows Bitly’s previous efforts in making its platform more brand-friendly, with data-driven products such as Audience Data and Audience Intel, and it can offer brands using Bitly the ability to do some granular tracking so as to finetune their campaigns.


Source: Marketing Land

Facebook To Make Its In-App Content Searchable By Google

What Happened
Google’s effort to keep its search engine relevant in a mobile-first world just got a boost from one of its biggest rival. On Friday, Facebook began allowing Google to crawl and index its mobile app. Google searches on Android devices will now surface information from public Facebook profiles, Pages, Groups, and Events, all embedded with deep links that will direct users to the content within Facebook’s app.

What Brands Need To Do
In order to make its search more useful on mobile devices, and therefore not losing a big portion of its search ad dollars to apps, Google has been working on convincing app developers to index their apps for deep linking. Meanwhile, Facebook looks to route more users to its mobile app via Google search, thus further cementing its lead in mobile attention. For brands, this means their Facebook content will become more discoverable, increasing their content reach.


Source: Wall Street Journal

Microsoft Updates Outlook With Uber, PayPal, and Evernote Integration

What Happened
Microsoft is rolling out a redesigned with deep integration with a host of add-ins from partner platforms, such as Uber, PayPal, and Boomerang. Some newly announced partners including Evernote, Yelp, IFTTT and Wunderlist will be integrated into the web version of Microsoft’s email client in coming weeks. Through such integrations, Microsoft gets to build out its platform with new functionality, while the partner services get a boost in reaching potential users.

What Brands Should Do
For brands looking to increase audience reach through this kind of platform integration, the Outlook API is available for building your own branded add-ins. Moreover, brands should consider forging partnerships enabled by deep-linking platforms. For example, InMoji can help brands extend reach and build engagement with users of messaging apps via custom-branded, clickable emoji and stickers.


Source: The Next Web

How Deep-Link-Enabled Partnerships Are Changing The Mobile Ecosystem

What Happened
StubHub has teamed up with Uber to generate some cross-app synergy. Now event-goers will be able to book an Uber ride directly from StubHub’s mobile apps after purchasing tickets. Moreover, StubHub will also send out a timely notification two hours prior to the event to offer users a chance to conveniently request a ride. A similar partnership between Uber and Live Nation was also forged back in May to integrate the on-demand car service into the event-going experience by using Uber’s open API. Earlier this year, Uber announced a similar deal with Foursquare with the help of mobile deep-linking startup Button.

What Brands Should Do
Either through open API or third-party deep-linking solution, Uber is clearly working to put its service conveniently anywhere people may need it. Such an approach has certainly helped expand Uber’s reach, and it is something that most brands can learn from. The key here, though, is to figure out where your product or services are needed, whom your brand should be partnered with, and how to create a deep-linking solution that is user-friendly and efficient – all of which the Lab are happy to help you with. Come visit us if you need help understanding the ever-evolving mobile ecosystem and finding the suitable partnerships.


Source: Tech Times

Fast Forward: Google Now is the New Search — How To Stay Visible

Editor’s Note: FAST FORWARD is a new Lab product that aims to be your go-to guide to tech-driven changes in the media landscape. It is a FAST read for you and a simple FORWARD for your clients and team. This is the first of our Fast Forward analyses, and we welcome any constructive criticism or feedback.


What Happened?
Yesterday at its annual I/O developer conference, Google debuted some game-changing new products and services that could redefine the entire app ecosystem. The company wowed the crowd with a new “Now on Tap” feature, part of the new Android M OS, which aims to provide contextual information and app deep links based on the content currently on the screen. Moreover, Google also updated its AdMob platforms to add new features such as improved ad targeting and tools for native ad creation.

What Does This Mean for Brands?
For both Android and iOS app owners, make sure your app is submitted to Google for indexing. While Now on Tap will always be Android only, iOS apps should be indexed also as apps for both platforms will need to do so to appear in Google search results on the web.

Google also announced that Play Store app listing content can be A/B tested, and that they will help developers analyze and understand the results. The A/B testing will be a huge help in converting Play Store views into downloads.

The IPG Media Lab, Ansible, and Reprise Media can help you strategize for these changes and produce content that will maximize the benefits from the new distribution and tools. This will get your app in front of more users, both in search results and in the Play Store, and ensure that those users are reminded of your app at the most useful moments through Now on Tap.

How It Works
If a movie title is mentioned in an email, activating Now on Tap with a long press of the home button brings up a Now card with glanceable information pulled from IMDB, a link to the trailer on YouTube, and deep links to relevant apps on the user’s phone. In this case, the user could go directly to the Tomorrowland page in the IMDB or Flixster app.


For a restaurant mentioned in a text message, Now on Tap surfaces Google reviews and direct links to its location and phone number, as well as the Yelp and OpenTable apps.


For fashion brands, indexing will be key to allowing users to go directly from a brand or product mention in an email or text to an app like Spring where the user can browse your related products or complete a purchase.

For verticals such as travel, where a mobile-optimized website may have sufficed, that strategy will no longer deliver enough value on Android. A native app, submitted for indexing, will allow Now on Tap to surface your brand app at the best possible times and allow users to book the trip they were talking about.

Google has incentive to display some glanceable information to answer basic questions but not to go too far on that front because that would discourage Android app development if users got everything they needed from Now on Tap instead of the third party apps. Therefore, we expect that Now on Tap will drive more app use and surface the right apps at the right moments for Android users.

Market Impact
The new Now on Tap feature means a system-wide deep-linking integration with all third-party apps via Google Now, which produces great opportunity for brands to benefit from contextual suggestions. Interestingly, the official announcement of Now on Tap was posted on Google’s official search blog, rather than the official Android blog. This signals the importance of the new feature for Google in a world where more and more time is spent inside apps and not in the web browser, where Google has been dominant. More than half of total internet time is spent in a mobile app and almost 90 percent of mobile internet time is spent in apps. Google has figured out a way to be useful for both users and app owners in this new reality and at the same time move ahead of Apple’s Siri and Facebook’s Graph Search.

Moreover, with the new updates to the AdMob’s platform, the over 650,000 apps it currently supports can now pull ads from 40 ad networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and Tencent GDT, and can present those ads in a more native format using CSS defined by the app. Similarly, Google also launched Universal App Campaigns for AdWords to help advertisers reach a wider audience across Google’s Search and AdMob platforms, as well as on mobile sites, on YouTube and on Google Play. With Facebook increasingly challenging Google’s dominance on mobile app install ads, Google clearly feels compelled to make it a more appealing ad platform for brands and developers alike with all these useful new tools.

For More Information
Please contact Engagement Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) at the IPG Media Lab if you would like more detail or to schedule a visit to the Lab.


All featured images courtesy of Google’s Official Search Blog


Will Speech-Driven Digital Assistants Be The New Universal UI?

Read original story on: ArsTechnica

Microsoft is looking to extend its voice-command service with an ambitious Project Oxford, which includes a set of APIs and SDKs to allow developers to integrate speech command and many other machine learning capabilities behind Cortana, Microsoft’s own Siri, into third-party platforms and applications ranging from smart TVs to home automation systems.

Following on its Build conference, which we recapped here, Microsoft announced its plan to push for deeper app integration into Cortana in Windows 10, especially for simple task completions. If implemented, this would mean that tasks such as calling an Uber could be accomplished via simple speech command without opening the app.

One possible long-term result of these advances would be that developers could incorporate speech-driven digital assistants like Cortana into of all sorts of devices, making it the new universal user interface. Coupled with the rise of the Internet of Things, as well as new developments in in-app deep linking, it could significantly change how consumers interact with digital devices, which poses new challenges and opportunities for brands.


Update 5/26: Microsoft’s officially bringing Cortana to iPhone and Android with its new Phone Companion app for Windows 10, which promises to help users sync their mobile phones with their PCs.


AppURL Wants To Link Between Mobile Apps

A new initiative by mobile app search engine Quixey aims to integrate “deep linking” with standalone mobile applications.  The initiative is called AppURL and would allow users to navigate between individual apps from within them, calling restaurant reviews in Yelp from within a social media app, for example.  The concept of deep linking isn’t new, and there have been several efforts in the past to push it into the mainstream, but most companies using any form of deep linking have a proprietary method of doing so.  AppURL aims to standardize deep linking to allow more immersive, efficient app use experiences.