Apple Introduces Vanity URLs for Apps
During the Superbowl, Apple debuted a new product for App developers that is going to make a radical shift in the way Apps are being promoted. App developers can now take advantage of vanity URLs (custom URLs) that will be hosted on the AppStore.com domain name. Reportedly, the AppStore.com domain name was a personal gift from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff back in 2008 to Steve Jobs.
And today, Apple has put it into good use. During the Superbowl, an ad for the new Star Trek movie was promoting AppStore.com/StarTrekApp which attracted a lot of curious eyeballs. From now on, when developers are submitting their Apps to the App Store, Apple will assign a short URL for their App. This URL cannot be customized by the developer, but will be instead provided by Apple itself.
According to the Apple Developer documentation –
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. These short links are ideal for use in offline communications materials like print ads, TV spots, app trailers, radio ads and billboards.
Companies can also use the domain names to point users to the entire company profile or just one single App. It sounds like a remarkable idea that will definitely change the way Apps are being promoted. Instead of the complicated URLs, developers can now use the custom domain names which would even be more memorable for users.
Examples of certain AppStore.com domain names in use now –
iOS: http://appstore.com/ for example, http://appstore.com/smule
Mac: http://appstore.com/mac/ for example, http://appstore.com/mac/popcap
iOS: http://appstore.com/ for example, http://appstore.com/ocarina
Mac: http://appstore.com/mac/ for example, http://appstore.com/mac/peggle
App by Company
iOS: http://appstore.com// for example, http://appstore.com/smule/ocarina
Mac: http://appstore.com/mac// for example, http://appstore.com/mac/popcap/peggle