Deferred deep linking is one aspect of mobile deep linking . It describes the principle of deep linking into an app that is not yet installed. This implies that clicking (or otherwise invoking) the deep link causes:

  1. An app store to open the app to the app
  2. Once the app is installed, the link is invoked with its original URL and parameters so that the newly installed app can handle the invocation.

A common use case is to drive installs; linking to functionality in a not-yet-installed app provides the user with an incentive to install it.

Platform-provided support

While there is currently no standard industry for different types of support,

  • Apple iOS : No support.
  • Android support on the Google Play store : Google gives app the option of passing the original Google Play App Store using the Intent: “The deep link should take users directly to the content, without any prompts, interstitial pages, gold Make sure that users can see the app even if they never previously opened the application. ” [1]
  • Android support on non-Google app stores: No support. This is the majority of Android app installations, since Google Play makes up less than 1/4 of the volume of Android apps downloaded. [2]
  • Powered by Facebook ads (iOS and Android): Developers can bring users to the content of a mobile application. choose to send them to a specific place in their homepage after it’s downloaded, as a product page rather than the homepage. ” [3]

Alternatives to Platform-provided support

For the platforms where there is no real support (the majority), the only option is a “roll-your-own” approach. The general approach is to provide a mechanism where the URL and its parameters can be passed “around” the app store; ie. received from the source (linking) application (the “click”), stored, and then passed to the destination (linked-to) application once it’s installed and run. [4]

The major technical challenge to this approach is that which is correct and which is the correct URL and parameters can be passed to newly-installed app. Tying clicks to installs is a family of technologies known as Attribution.


  1. Jump up^ “Enabling Deep Links for App Content | Android Developers” . . Retrieved 2015-06-20 .
  2. Jump up^ “Android Surprises iOS In Revenue, If China’s Android App Stores Are Combined” . 2015-04-27 . Retrieved 2015-06-20 .
  3. Jump up^ “Deep linking for mobile app install ads” . . Retrieved 2015-06-20 .
  4. Jump up^ St.Derrick. “How to make deferred deep linking” . Retrieved 2016-08-15 .