App Traffic Flow Monitoring Now Possible – Thanks to Facebook’s Analytics Capabilities

Facebook has rolled out the new analytics services for App Links (, the open source, cross-platform deep linking facility within mobile apps. Less than 4 months since purchasing App Links, Facebook has notched up some 3 billion URLs to work in this system. It has now opened up introductory analytics support spanning Facebook Insights, Parse Analytics and MixPanel.

The Key USP of App Links

Developers integrating App Links have reported a sharp decline in app abandonment due to improper user experience (which might explain the impressive adoption it has witnessed since the last 3-4 months). Just as a small instance – users who browse a particular link on Vimeo app might be redirected to a mobile browser version of Vimeo rather than a proper place within the app that is consistent with the usage experience. App Links seeks to solve these issues with help of deep-linking within the app and thus avoid the broken in-app to mobile web browser experience.

How does Analytics capabilities fit into the scheme of things?

Looking at the sustained interest from developers of such seamless integration, App Links has now announced the launch of analytics services that will track and monitor the traffic associated with the App Links integration into their apps. While the scope and reach of data being monitored is still very basic, it still helps developers to encourage the use of analytics to monitor cross-app traffic.

The type of flow that can be monitored include the below –

  1. When an App Links integrated mobile app sends a user to another app
  2. When they get a new user arriving at their app through App Links
  3. When a user returns to an App Links integrated mobile app from another mobile app

How it can be used?

The Bolts SDK from App Links will facilitate sending events that help developers measure the app traffic associated with their App Links integration. The 3 new events specifically listed by App Links are –

  1. ‘al_ref_back_out’ [currently only in iOS] – This event is raised in the receiving app when someone navigates back to the referring app from the receiving app by clicking on the navigate-back bar.
  2. ‘al_nav_out’ – This event is raised in the referring app when it sends an App Links URL out of their app
  3. ‘al_nav_in’ – This event is raised in the receiving app when it open an App Link integrated app

Benefits of the Analytics feature

While it is still evolving the analytics feature will be useful for developer who need to use App Links for their e-commerce portal or for those who wish to monitor ads on mobile News Feed by Facebook. These two use cases can rely on Analytics feature from App Links and generate valuable insights on how the traffic is flowing from one app to another and which referring app gives how much visibility. Additionally, being open source in nature, developers can also tweak the tool to create their own customized analytics solutions built specifically for addressing their specific needs Find Out More.

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