Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that the company is banking its global user base of 1.3 billion people to push its standard to the top of the list. “We can help push that along and establish a standard and that’s what we’re trying to do,” he said.
Zuckerberg said Facebook’s strategy isn’t necessarily at odds with Google’s. “Facebook and Google are coming at it from different perspectives,” he said. Facebook’s goal is to “enable people to share content from different apps,” he said, while Google “is more about searching in apps.” He suggested that the mobile world may evolve so that “apps just mark up their views with all of these different kinds of things.”
One hurdle for mobile app links, Zuckerberg said, is convincing app developers to do the extra work to create them. Web links are basically automatic, whereas app links take an extra step. “The unfortunate situation right now though is that on desktop web or web in general, everything automatically has a URL,” he said. “But in mobile, it’s the opposite.”
Zuckerberg said getting developers to create the URLs will mean showing them there’s real value in doing the extra work. If app developers want to appear in searches, they might use Google’s standard. If developers want to attract Facebook’s billion users with links sending them directly to specific places within their app – like a song on Spotify – they might use App Links, he said.
“Those kinds of killer use cases I think are the thing that’s going to drive the adoption of this, but I think it’ll be a few years before