February 8, 2021

How to Generate YouTube Mobile App Links That Open in the App

YouTube app logo

YouTube video content and advertising continues to be a hot topic among marketers. The social network is still growing and is predicted to reach 2.8 billion users by 2025— a staggering achievement.

Most video consumption is happening on mobile devices and within many different social networks— including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and (of course) now TikTok. Video ad formats are also quickly evolving providing media planners and content creators with a wide range of ad formats for reaching a targeted audience. To maximize views, subscribers, and engagement, however, marketers need to promote their videos off-site using deep links that open the YouTube app to specific profiles, videos, and playlists while avoiding that YouTube mobile website login which is typically seen when linking to YouTube from other apps including social apps like Facebook.

When clicked from Facebook, a regular YouTube link sends your audience to the YouTube website login.

Have you as a consumer ever clicked on a YouTube link and— even though you have the YouTube app installed on your phone— you’re sent to the YouTube web login? That experience hurts the pace at which you grow subscribers not to mention likes and comments. In other words, you’re losing subscribers each time you send a visitor to that web login! This is not YouTube’s but something called the ‘walled garden’ effect which is a challenge that the industry has when linking app-to-app.

This post tells you how to solve this issue by creating smoother app-to-app deep links.

How YouTube App Deep Linking Solves for the Walled Garden

URLgenius allows marketers to update their YouTube profile and video links so that they can open the Youtube app from another app when detected on the user’s mobile device. Deep linking to the YouTube app vs. website will help you increase subscribers, views, and engagement. URLgenius lets your visitor securely leave the app their in (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and open the YouTube app to the right screen.

A URLgenius app deep link for YouTube sends your audience directly into the YouTube app to the right screen

YouTube App Deep Links for Profiles, Channels, Videos or Playlists

YouTube accounts have a profile link and each video posted also has a link that can be used in advertising, email, paid search, and social. For example, this is a link to the YouTube profile for the Coca-Cola brand. Notice profile links have the word ‘user‘ in the path:

Video links have the word ‘watch’ in the path

Here’s an example of a YouTube channel link:

And here’s a playlist:

Clicking these typical YouTube links to profiles, channels, videos, or playlists using a smartphone will typically bring you to the YouTube mobile web login even if you have the YouTube app installed. This is especially true when clicking YouTube links from within other apps like Facebook and other social apps. Even if the content is public and viewable from Facebook’s internal browser, when attempting to subscribe, like, or comment, you will be asked to log in. At this point most people abandon. This leads to lost subscribers, engagement, and ultimately revenue. Here’s how to fix it!

Step-by-Step: How to Generate an App Deep Link to Open the YouTube App from Facebook and Other Apps

Most YouTube users have the app installed on their individual mobile devices. URLgenius enables you to create deep links to the YouTube mobile app vs. website providing your visitors with a more seamless content experience. This will increase subscribers to your channel, as well as likes and comments on your video content.

Just follow these steps to update your profile, channels, videos, and playlists:

  • Sign up and log in to URLgenius
  • Once logged in, you’re ready to update your YouTube profile and video links
  • Copy your YouTube profile, channel, video, or playlist link from the address bar of your browser
  • Paste the link into the box on the URLgenius home page
  • Note there is a field for customizing the end of your link

URLgenius home page - YouTube mobile app URL/link generator

  • For example, let’s create a deep link to the Coca-Cola YouTube profile
  • When the link is pasted notice the YouTube icon is highlighted
  • This tells you that URLgenius understands the link type
  • Optional: Notice the pre-populated field that contains four random characters
  • You can customize this part of the path for tracking purposes by channel or campaign
  • For example, you could change it to say ‘fall-campaign” or “email-campaign”
  • In our example, we will make it ‘cocacola2023

URLgenius-generated YouTube mobile app URL/link

  • Click the “Compose URL” button and you are then brought to the settings page where you can copy the link for use in another marketing channel
  • Scan the QR code with your mobile device to test the behavior of the link or email it
  • Copy your URLgenius YouTube deep link and use it in your other marketing channels
  • To go back and get this link later just click “Console” from the menu

URLgenius-generated YouTube mobile app QR code

QR Codes for the YouTube App

Doing a multi-channel campaign to promote your YouTube channel? Lucky for you, every URLgenius YouTube app deep link also has a corresponding QR code.

Generate a branded YouTube app deep link and custom QR code to use online or offline to promote your channels, videos, and playlists. Use them in posters, retail displays, tradeshows, and giveaway promotions. Just click on ‘QR Settings’ to find and download your YouTube QR code.

URLgenius-generated YouTube mobile app QR code customization

Where to place your URLgenius app deep links for YouTube:

  • Use it behind the YouTube icon on your website
  • Place it behind the YouTube icon in your email templates
  • Use the URLgenius YouTube link in your Instagram profile and other social networks
  • Utilize in social media ads to promote your YouTube channels and playlists

Pro tip: Connect your YouTube account to your Google Analytics account and include campaign tracking parameters on your YouTube link when you create your URLgenius link.

URLgenius App Deep Linking Metrics for YouTube

You can log in to URLgenius anytime to understand traffic trends on the “Performance” tab in the link settings or click “Activity” from the menu and enter a date range.

URLgenius Deep Linking Metrics for YouTube mobile app URLs/links - visitors/clicks/app opens

  • The next chart below shows the YouTube app opens by platform.
  • Using these charts, you can estimate what percentage if your social engagers have installed the YouTube mobile app for iOS and Android.

URLgenius Deep Linking Metrics for YouTube mobile app URLs - visits by app opens/platform/browser

  • And here’s a chart example of clicks by approximate city location
  • All URLgenius data is anonymous and compliant with today’s latest privacy policies

URLgenius Deep Linking Metrics for YouTube mobile app URLs - visits by city/language/region

  • As a reminder, after a click there is a one-hour delay in reporting.
  • All data is anonymous and not personally identifiable.

Update your profile links in the same way for FacebookInstagramSnapchat, TikTok and even Amazon and other marketplaces.  Log in now and get started.

For more app deep linking and QR code tips also see these how-to articles:


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