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An Industry Standard for Linking on Mobile

April 30, 2014ByMing Li

Linking is an important part of what makes the web great, but right now it's too hard to implement and expose deep links on mobile. There's no way to know if another app supports deep links, and there’s no single standard that works across mobile platforms.

Today, we're announcing App Links, an open, cross platform solution for app-to-app linking. App Links gives you all the tools you need to expose deep links in your app and link to other apps.

App Links lets you to map your web content to your mobile content. All you need to do is add a few tags to your web content and you're ready to let other developers link directly into your mobile app. If you're a mobile-only app, we've got you covered. You can publish your tags using Parse Cloud Code, App Links Hosting API, or any other service you prefer.

  • Simple, open source, and free: We've open sourced the standard for everyone. We've also implemented reference SDKs for all the major platforms for developers to explore and expand on.
  • A true cross-platform solution: App Links supports iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. It will be extended to support other platforms as well.
  • Mobile link discovery: The Facebook App Links Index API provides a central repository for apps to discover whether any URL on the web can be deep linked on mobile. We welcome others to put up their own indices as well.

We've added App Links support in our own apps on iOS and Android. Most links on News Feed or profile will support App Links, including links shared by apps, pages and even status updates when people copy and paste a URL. We've partnered with great apps and content owners to support this standard. Many of the top mobile apps have deeply integrated App Links including Mailbox, Quip, and Spotify. And we've also partnered with over 20 others to make their content available for linking, starting today. These include Pinterest, Redfin, Goodreads, Edomondo, Hulu, Flixter, Wattpad, Venmo,, Mixcloud, Rdio, SoundCloud, Tumblr, EyeEm, Houzz, Flickr, Vevo, Vimeo, Rhapsody,, iHeart, Songkick, and DailyMotion.

Open linking is such a fundamental part of the web and we want to work with other app developers to bring the same power to mobile.

Check out to learn more about implementing App Links or how to contribute to the open source initiative.