Facebook App Links for Android

Overview

Facebook uses the open source protocol App Links (http://applinks.org) to deep link users in their app to content in other apps. Our solution works alongside Facebook's App Links; we handle the complications involved with App Links so you don't have to worry about it. If you choose to enable this feature, you will see a more reliable and consistent deep linking experience for your end users on Facebook. This change only affects users on Facebook; your SuperLinks will behave exactly the same everywhere else.

Supported Operating Systems

We currently support Facebook App Links for Android only. Facebook caches the SuperLink and scrapes the destination webpage as soon as the link is posted. For Android, Facebook will check if the user has the app first before they check whether the link should be opened by the app or the mobile website. Additionally, the resulting behavior defined by the al:web:should_fallback flag differs depending on if the user has the app or not. This allows us to configure our backend around Facebook App links so that installs are attributed and deep link tracked.

For iOS, Facebook will also cache the SuperLink and scrape the destination webpage. However, it will then check whether the link should be opened by the app or the mobile website (toggled with the al:web:should_fallback flag, see app links documentation for more info). The behavior up to this point is blind to whether or not the user has the app installed. Since Facebook's crawler handles app detection, we cannot configure Facebook App Links in a way that allows us to fingerprint correctly and attribute installs for iOS.

Important note regarding Facebook Open Graph tags:

Facebook App Links uses a crawler to scrape for OG and content to display on the Facebook post. With Facebook App Links for Android, in order to redirect users on Facebook, we intercept this crawler using a webpage that will tell the crawler to redirect the user based on whether or not they have the app, as well as pass the metadata associated with the link. Then, Facebook handles the app detection, so as a result, the redirect experience is more consistent and reliable. However, since we intercept the Facebook crawler, it never has the chance to scrape the content off of the destination URL. To address this, Yozio scrapes the destination URL for OG tags and puts it on the webpage intercepting the Facebook crawler; we scrape the title, image and description from the final destination webpage. This final destination webpage will initially be the desktop fallback url you have entered; if you have any redirection to a webpage that is based on the metadata you've attached to the SuperLink, the final destination webpage will be this webpage. In order for your users to have the best user experience, we recommend that you include these OG tags on your final destination webpage. Once deployed, SuperLinks with Facebook App Links enabled will display all relevant content in the post, including any images, to ensure that the user has the best experience sharing and using your SuperLinks.

Facebook App Links for Android is on by default for all SuperLinks as of December 8, 2015. 

If you wish, you may modify the default settings for Facebook App Links for Android with Yozio. To do so go to Yozio Console > SuperLinks > Organic Links > Edit the SuperLink you’d like to modify Facebook App Links settings for > Redirect Settings > Under the Android redirect settings > select your option (YES or NO) for Enable Facebook App Links Feature?. Additionally, you can edit your app default redirect settings (Yozio Console > Settings > Default Redirect Settings > Under the Android redirect settings > Enable Facebook App Links Feature?).

For SuperLinks that have already been shared on Facebook, Facebook may take up to 24 hours to update any published links and cache the link content, meaning that when you update a SuperLink with Facebook App Links enabled, it will take at most 24 hours for the changes to take effect on existing SuperLinks. You can circumvent this by creating a new SuperLink with Facebook App Links enabled, and distributing the new link. You can also use Facebook's debugging tool, found here. Simple enter the SuperLink URL and click "debug". Afterwards, click "fetch new scrape information" to update Facebook's cache.