Apple has just kicked off something neat for App Store developers during the Super Bowl: short AppStore.com vanity URLs.
Apparently, AppStore.com vanity URLs have been in effect even before the Big Game started. But it’s only at the end of the Super Bowl ad for the upcoming “Star Trek Into Darkness” movie did it make its bug debut.
The ad in question invites viewers to get the movie’s exclusive app, which includes details and ticket information, by going to AppStore.com/StarTrekApp.
Sure enough, going to the given short vanity URL prompts an App Store search for “startrekapp.” Ultimately, though, it opens the App Store itself to the page for Star Trek App, the official “Star Trek Into Darkness” app released a few days ago.
Accordingly, Apple’s Developer portal has been updated with information about the new vanity URLs. Apple says that in addition to using standard itunes.apple.com App Store links, as a developer, you can …
… 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.
Apple also points out that there are three types of App Store short links and that they come in two forms, one for iOS apps and another for Mac apps. See Apple’s examples below:
for example, http://appstore.com/smule
for example, http://appstore.com/mac/popcap
for example, http://appstore.com/ocarina
for example, http://appstore.com/mac/peggle
App by Company
/ for example, http://appstore.com/smule/ocarina
/ for example, http://appstore.com/mac/popcap/peggle
As noted by CNET, which first reported on the matter, the AppStore.com domain was acquired by Steve Jobs as a personal gift from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff in 2008.
The name “App Store” itself, on the other hand, is the focus of a legal battle being fought by Apple against Amazon and other companies, which believe that the phrase is generic and shouldn’t be trademarked.