Pinterest's URX acquisition spurs cautious optimism among developers

Dan Kobialka, FierceDeveloperPinterest has added a mobile deep linking technology provider to its portfolio. 

The photo sharing website has acquired San Francisco-based URX in a move that could have far-flung effects on mobile app developers worldwide.

URX co-founder John Milinovich pointed out the team will join Pinterest to help developers and brands "distribute and monetize their content on mobile," something he said was an exciting opportunity.

"As we learned more about Pinterest's mission of helping people discover and do the things they love, it was clear that we share a similar view of the future. Discovery is one of the largest problems and opportunities on the web, and Pinterest is well positioned to solve it at an unprecedented scale," Milinovich wrote in a blog post

In addition, Milinovich noted URX has discontinued its AppViews advertising product, effective immediately -- but that does not mean the push for deep linking will slow down any time soon.

Milinovich told FierceDeveloper that he believes between 30 percent and 40 percent of apps supported deep linking in 2014, and this figure may continue to increase. 

A deep link directs a mobile app user to specific content within an app. Thus, deep links can help users get to the content they want faster than ever before, making them exceedingly valuable for developers. 

Pinterest, meanwhile, already supports deep links via AppLinks, empowering developers to reap the benefits of deep linking.

"[AppLinks support] means that if you put the required AppLinks meta tags on your website, a Pinner looking at one of your Pins on close-up will be able to open your app directly if they already have it installed," Pinterest wrote in a blog post. 

However, deep linking on Pinterest could become even more advanced thanks to Pinterest's acquisition of URX. 

Pinterest currently offers an application programming interface (API), Pin It Button and other tools that developers can use to drive traffic back to their apps. And now, the URX acquisition could help Pinterest take another step toward building long-lasting partnerships with developers globally. -- Dan

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