Tapstream Launches URL Shortener to Tie Marketing Efforts to App Installs

Today Vancouver-based mobile app analytics tool Tapstream announced the public launch of its URL shortener, which lets app publishers track which marketing measures most effectively lead to an app install. The startup saw early adoption of its technology by companies like Hootsuite and Bleacher Report, and now will look to enable everyone from indie developers to agencies to track their marketing efforts and streamline their approach when it comes to getting the word out about their latest apps.

CEO Slaven Radic spoke with BetaKit about the evolution of the company’s technology, and how they’ve evolved to being a solution aimed at any app developer. “We had some big clients and it took off in its original form…now we’re finally doing something that’s open to the general market. Something that’s easy to digest and be embraced by an average developer,” said Radic in the interview.

After signing up for the service, developers of iOS, Android, MacOS, and Windows 8 apps can access Tapsteam’s software development kit (SDK) to embed a single line of code into their app, after which they can use the company’s dashboard to shorten URLs, akin to Bit.ly, which can then be shared across multiple marketing channels. What this then enables developers to do is track their activity on Facebook, Twitter, Google Adwords, mobile ad networks, email marketing, or anywhere else they can embed their link to discover not just from where they’re receiving traffic, but which medium is resulting in actual app installations.

Developers can also choose to embed Tapstream’s SDK into other insertion points to track in-app purchases, in addition to their website where they put in a line of JavaScript code and can track referral traffic that again lays out which sources are resulting in actual downloads.

Another factor driving the accessibility behind the company’s analytics dashboard is that it now has a freemium business model, with a free account geared towards indie developers. It also has three paid tiers with more premium features that range from $99 per month for a pro account to $399 for an enterprise account, which includes features like Google Analytics integration, the ability to customize the company’s subdomain ‘taps.io,’ and complete API accessibility.

There’s no shortage of analytics tools that track what happens once a person starts using a mobile app, and BetaKit has already covered startups like Kickfolio, LeanPlum, and Heatmaps, not to mention more than a handful of online marketing tools that track URLs. Tapstream’s ability to track traffic right down to installation is what it believes sets it apart. “There are things that will track certain installations, say you buy an ad out on a mobile ad network, their system will track that,” Radic added. “[But] our original play was always that the web is a huge space, and app developers are left out of it.”

Over the next few months, Tapstream will be be adding tools that allow developers to do deeper dives into their data so that they can correlate variables like their most loyal users based on usage, retention, and purchases with where they were referred from. Developers can also expect email reports which alert them of patterns they should keep their eye on. With app developers looking to drill down on their marketing efforts to solely focus on what drives installs, Tapstream could be a necessary addition to their analytics toolkit.

Humayun Khan

Humayun Khan

Humayun Khan is a Senior Writer and Analyst at BetaKit. A marketing graduate with honors, Humayun's work experience spans the fields of consumer behaviour with noted contributions in an academic paper published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology and market research consulting having coordinated projects for a major financial services client at Decode Inc. More recently he was involved in business strategy as a Business Analyst for an equipment rental outlet and prior in the National Marketing Department at Ernst & Young LLP. He is passionate about emerging and disrupting technology and its ability to transform and create entirely new industries.

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