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February 05, 2013

AppStore.com's Stealth Debut at Super Bowl Reveals New Way of Linking to iOS Apps

The Super Bowl is always known for the new, hyper-creative ads surrounding the game itself, and looks like everybody’s been talking about the Go Daddy commercial.

While Go Daddy will surely get more bang for its buck, The Paramount Pictures trailer for the upcoming Star Trek: Into Darkness film had a twist of traffic, for a company that had no ad. Apple enjoyed tons of traffic when the commercial flashed a custom URL for the movies iOS app. The URL redirects users to the AppStore.com, which is owned by Apple.

See the preview below.

Not long after that, likely due to the amount of traffic, Apple updated its developer documentation that shows users how to create easy-to-read short links to the App Store for apps and company name.

In part, the update reads, “You can also create easy-to-read links to your app using App Store Short Links, which use the AppStore.com base URL plus a specific form of your app or company name. This provides a simple way for users to find your apps on the App Store directly from your website or marketing campaigns.”

Apple has even suggested these short links are ideal for use in offline communications like TV spots, app trailers and billboards.

The documentation also states that the AppStore.com URL replaces iTunes.com, and that while iTunes.com links will continue to work, they need to be updated.

The AppStore.com domain was originally owned by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who offered it as a personal gift to the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs back in 2008, together with exclusive rights to use the name.

According to Benioff, Steve suggested he build an ecosystem around the Salesforce product back in 2003, and wound up buying and trade marking the domain in the process. When Apple launched the iPhone, he decided to give him the domain for his sage advice.

Following its stealth Super Bowl debut, can we expect to see more trailers and TV ads using this new way of linking to iOS apps? I think we all know the answer to that.

Edited by Braden Becker

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