Button Platform Extends The Value Of Apps With Selective, Contextual Linking
Google and Facebook are racing to make the mobile app world safe for “deep linking.” The idea is that mobile apps should emulate and function just like the PC internet and not exist in “silos.” It’s far from clear, however, that consumers are clamoring to have lots of embedded links in their favorite apps. In fact […]
Google and Facebook are racing to make the mobile app world safe for “deep linking.” The idea is that mobile apps should emulate and function just like the PC internet and not exist in “silos.”
It’s far from clear, however, that consumers are clamoring to have lots of embedded links in their favorite apps. In fact there’s evidence that they don’t like to be taken out of apps (by ads at least). There’s also a way in which the self-contained environment of apps removes some of the noise and Las Vegas-style clutter so prevalent on the desktop now.
Yet there are many times when it does make sense to connect the functionality of one app with that of another. The obvious top-of-mind example is a “book now” button in a restaurant app.
The contextual linking and commerce approach being taken by Button enhances the value of an individual app, allowing developers to integrate complimentary capabilities or services. This is the case in the just-announced integration of Uber into Foursquare, using Button.
These sorts of complementary app integrations have been and are still being done on a case by case basis today (e.g., Uber in the United app). However Button provides a simple way to enable this without all the biz-dev negotiation and custom integration.
Within the Foursquare app, as the graphic above indicates, you’re given the option to take Uber to your restaurant destination of choice. This makes a lot of sense in a city like New York. If the Uber app is already installed you’ll be offered a range of car classes and then you simply select the one you want.
If you don’t have Uber installed, you’re prompted to download the app. Accordingly, Button enables app discovery, which can be more powerful in a specific context like this.
Button makes a slice of any subsequent transaction that it facilitates. The key word here is “transaction.” This sort of contextual integration makes lots of sense if it’s advancing the user objective or enabling her to accomplish something she’s trying to do — in this case get to a restaurant.
Indeed, this is a specific and thoughtful case of “deep linking” that delivers enhanced value to the user. While most would probably point to this as an appropriate in-app linking example, in some sense it also defies the general call to simply fortify apps with third party links.