Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tips for external links and social media within apps

I've been trying to link to social media sites within all of my apps.  Within each app you can do the following things:

-Click to Rate (this either brings you to our website's rate page, or the Mac App Store)
-Click to Tweet (composes an example tweet that links to the proper app)
-Click to Follow (launches my twitter page)
-Click to Like (launches the appropriate facebook page for the app)
-Click to Friend (launches my facebook page to friend or follow)

If you click any of the links above you'll see that they're not actually linking to Facebook or Twitter, but to my own website,  From there, a page on my website redirects to the actual Facebook or Twitter page.

I never know if/when I might have to change my Facebook URL or my Twitter handle.  This way, all my apps are pointing to a page on my website instead of directly to Facebook or Twitter. I can change that page to redirect to a new URL at any time.

I will never have to change the URLs within my apps again.  If my Facebook or Twitter URLs change I can update the pages on my website, instead of rebuilding and redistributing all of my apps.  Even customers using old versions will be brought to the correct URL without having to update first.

I think this lesson applies to any time you're linking to an outside source: keep control of the links by sending them through your own server first to redirect to the proper URL.  It's also a handy memory tool:
is much easier to remember than

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