When you have your own iOS or Android app, you can use Bitly to create links that will take users directly to the app instead of a website.
Configuring your custom domain for these deep links creates and hosts a site association file on the domain.
Follow these steps to create the site association file(s) for your custom domain:
Make sure you've set up the mobile app in Bitly with Apple App IDs and/or Android SHA-256 Keys. This is required before you can proceed.
- Log in to your Bitly account and click Settings in the left sidebar.
- Click Custom Domains below your account name.
- Click Manage on the Custom Domain to be used for deep linking.
- Scroll down to Mobile link behavior and click Select iOS Apps or Select Android Apps.
- Choose the apps to be configured for your domain.
Note: Only apps with Apple App IDs or Android SHA-256 Keys will appear in this list.
- Choose the app configuration settings for the custom domain:
- App Priority: The order the mobile operating system will follow when trying to open apps. If an app with a higher priority order is not installed on the mobile device the OS will try the next app in the order listed. The order can be adjusted by dragging and dropping the app into the desired order.
- Fallback: The app that will determine Install URL to be used in the event no listed apps are already installed on the mobile device of the user clicking the deep link.
- Install Preference: The mobile experience to be shown to a user with no listed apps already installed on the mobile device. The Install Preference can be unique for iOS and Android.
- OFF - User will be automatically taken to the content in mobile web.
- INTERSTITIAL - User will be taken to an interstitial on mobile web where they can choose to go to the Install URL to download the app or be taken to the content in mobile web.
- APP STORE - User will be automatically taken to the Install URL to download the app.
That's it! You can verify the apps are configured properly on the custom domain by viewing the site association files at:
- iOS: https://[INSERT_YOUR_CUSTOM_DOMAIN]/apple-app-site-association
- Android: https://[INSERT_YOUR_CUSTOM_DOMAIN]/.well-known/assetlinks.json
- It can take up to 10 mins to see updates to the site association file due to caching.
- Once one or more apps are associated to a custom domain, all links created on that custom domain prior to and after configuring will be deep link enabled.
Keep these things in mind as you choose and set up a custom domain:
- The domain for your short links must be different than your website domain.
- It can't be more than 32 characters long, including the dot.
- If you don't have one yet, Bitly offers a complimentary domain.