On July 17, 2017 the New York Times reported one of its strongest quarters in recent memory due in large part to the success of the New York times mobile app. The company affirmed it was on track to double its digital add revenue between 2014 and 2020 and digital-only subscriptions have now reached over 2.3 million. If you share and consume New York times content on social media (as do over 39 million Twitter users and over 14 million Facebook users), one way to get more views and engagement among New York Times subscribers is to make sure your article links can detect and open the NYTimes mobile app vs. website.
NYT Subscribers: Blocked From Opening App via Social Media?
New York Times app subscribers are typically persistently logged into the app for iOS or Android. It makes for a smoother reading experience, therefore, to take those users from Facebook and other social media into the app when detected on the device.
What may be confusing to New York Times readers is that article links will not always open in the mobile app when clicked on from social media. They will open in the app, however, if found through organic search results and other ways. This is due to NYT’s implementation of Apple’s native deep linking technology called Universal Links and Android's deep linking technology called App Indexing. When NYT links are shared on social media, however, these technologies are unable to detect and open the app from within the embedded, in-app browsers now found in Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.
This produces a extremely frustrating experience for New York Times subscribers, most of whom get their news through Facebook and Twitter news feeds and other social networks. When the links are clicked from Facebook and other social media, app users are routed to the New York Times mobile website instead. If the user prefers the app, they need switch to the app themselves and try to find the same article they saw in Facebook or another social network yet often in vain. In addition, when viewing the mobile website version of NYT from within these embedded app browsers, no banners or buttons are offered to open the app either.
New York Times subscribers are often treated like brand new customers when clicking links from social media. After clicking several articles from social media, the subscriber user will then see a promotional page with subscription offers even though they are already subscribed.
How Cloud Deep Linking Unblocks Mobile App Engagement
Platform tools like URLgenius enable anyone to update article links to the New York Times so that when shared on social media (or any other marketing channel) the links detect and open the New York Times mobile app for iOS and Android when present on the mobile device. Opening the app increases engagement and followers among New York Times subscribers because that audience is instantly brought into the app from any device for iOS and Android without having to login to the mobile website. If the user does not have the New York Times app installed, the link routes mobile users to the mobile website as usual.
If you subscribe to the New York Times, check out this example. Here is a typical web URL linking a NYT article. Click on it from iOS or Android and notice it opens the New York Times app. Sharing the same link on social media, however, will take users to the mobile website:
Now try the URLgenius version of the link. If you have the New York Times app installed, the app will open instead of sending you to the mobile website.
You can also scan the QR code or click the image below.
How to Deep Link to NY Times Articles in the mobile app vs. website
Follow these steps to update New York Times article links:
- Create a URLgenius account. https://app.urlgeni.us/signup
- Login to your URLgenius account: http://app.urlgeni.us/signin
- Once logged in, you’re ready to update the link to your selected New York Times article.
- Copy the article link from the address bar of your web browser and paste it into the box provided. Notice the the New York Times icon is highlighted. This icon tells you that URLgenius has interpreted the link correctly.
You can also edit the field that is pre-populated with 4 random characters. Use this field to customize the path to help identify your links for different campaigns. For example, you may want to change it to reflect an abbreviated version of the article title or a phrase related to the marketing channel or campaign such as “email-newsletter”. In this example we have changed it to “milan-fashion-week”.
- Now click the “Compose” button and then you will be presented with a 'Copy URL' button.
- Copy the link using the button provided and paste it in other marketing channels in your effort to promote your select New York Times content.
- Scan the QR code with your mobile device to test the behavior of your URLgenius link. You can also download the QR code for web or printing purposes.
Using URLgenius App Deep Links for New York Times Articles
Here are some tips on how and where to use URLgenius links for the New York Times mobile app for iOS and Android:
- Place your URLgenius deep links in any marketing channel
- Place behind images on your website
- Place in emails behind text or images
- Use in paid search campaigns
- Create hyper links in your blog content
- Promote your New York Times article in display advertising
- Analytics tip: append your preferred web or channel analytics UTM parameters for tracking (Google Analytics, Omniture, Kenshoo etc.)
URLgenius Deep Linking Metrics for New York Times App Opens
To look at how much engagement your links are generating, login to your URLgenius dashboard at any time to look at the analytics for any link or for all links.
- Here is an example chart for daily visitors and clicks by date range for all URLgenius links in your account.
- The next chart below shows New York Times app opens by platform. The app open rate helps you determine what percentage of your audience has the New York Times mobile app installed for iOS and Android.
- App store visits indicate people who have shown interest in viewing the content in the New York Times app but do not have the app installed yet.
- This is a view of clicks on your URLgenius New York Times deep link by device and by state.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions about deep linking to the New York Times app or your other favorite apps.