Overview

Branch's Deep Linking API is a powerful tool for all things Branch Links. You can programmatically generate links at scale to support all of your campaigns while tagging the links appropriately based on channel and other analytics tags.

API Limitations

Limitation

Details

Rate Limits

  • 500/second
  • 30,000/minute

Prerequisites & API Access

In order to access the Deep Linking API, you need to have completed the following:

  1. Created a Branch Dashboard

Authentication

Calls to the Deep Linking API require both your Branch Key and (sometimes) Branch Secret parameter to be passed with each request. This can be obtained through the Branch Dashboard Account Settings.

12701270

Learn more about your Branch Account Profile here.

For some calls, you will also need your Branch Access Token. This can be obtained from your Branch Dashboard User Settings.

Learn more on retrieving your Access Token here.

API Usage

Create a Deep Link URL

Endpoint

POST /v1/url
Content-Type: application/json
Body: JSON parameters
Host: api2.branch.io

Request Headers

Header

Value

Required

Content-Type

application/json

Yes

Request Body Parameters:

Parameter

Description

Required

branch_key

The Branch key of the originating app; from your Branch Settings Dashboard

Yes

data

The dictionary to embed with the link. Accessed as session or install parameters from the SDK. Use the data dictionary for all link control parameters that you'll find here.

No

alias

Instead of our standard encoded short url, you can specify the vanity alias. For example, instead of a random string of characters/integers, you can set the vanity alias as .app.link/devonaustin. Aliases are enforced to be unique and immutable per domain, and per link - they cannot be reused unless deleted.

Max 128 characters

NOTE: If you POST to the this endpoint with the same alias, and a matching set of other POST parameters to an existing aliased link, the original will be returned to you. If it clashes and you don't specify a match, will return a HTTP 409 error.

No

type

  • Set type to 1, to make the URL a one-time use URL. It won't deep link after 1 successful deep link.

  • default is set to 0, which is the standard Branch links created via our SDK.git

No

duration

In seconds. Only set this key if you want to override the match duration for deep link matching. This is the time that Branch allows a click to remain outstanding and be eligible to be matched with a new app session. This is default set to 7200 (2 hours).

No

Branch analytics parameters

It's important to tag your links with an organized structure of analytics labels so that the data appears consistent and readable in the dashboard.

No

identity

The identity used to identify the user. If the link is not tied to an identity, there's no need to specify an identity.

Max 127 characters

No

Response Body Parameters

Parameter

Description

url

The deep link URL created by this endpoint.

Example Request/Response

curl -XPOST https://api2.branch.io/v1/url -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
  -d '{
  "branch_key": "key_live_kaFuWw8WvY7yn1d9yYiP8gokwqjV0Swt",
  "channel": "facebook",
  "feature": "onboarding",
  "campaign": "new product",
  "stage": "new user",
  "tags": ["one", "two", "three"],
  "data": {
    "$canonical_identifier": "content/123",
    "$og_title": "Title from Deep Link",
    "$og_description": "Description from Deep Link",
    "$og_image_url": "http://www.lorempixel.com/400/400/",
    "$desktop_url": "http://www.example.com",
    "custom_boolean": true,
    "custom_integer": 1243,
    "custom_string": "everything",
    "custom_array": [1,2,3,4,5,6],
    "custom_object": { "random": "dictionary" }
  }
}'
{
  "url": "https://example.app.link/WgiqvsepqF"
}

Bulk Create Deep Link URLs

Endpoint

POST /v1/url/bulk/{branch_key}
Content-Type: application/json
Body: JSON parameters
Host: api2.branch.io

For more details on how to create links, see the Branch link creation guide

Request Headers

Header

Value

Required

Content-Type

application/json

Yes

Request Body Parameters

A json array of parameters from Creating a Deep Linking URL.

Parameter

Description

Required

branch_key

The Branch key of the originating app; from your Branch Settings Dashboard

Yes

Branch Parameters

A json array of parameters from Creating a Deep Linking URL.
You're free to add any of your own key-value parameters to a Branch link. These parameters will be passed to your app via the Branch SDK.

No

📘

Note

There is a 100KB limit on the request payload size.

Response Parameters

Parameter

Description

url[]

An array of deep linking URLs.

error

error(s) if there are invalid params.

Example Request/Response

curl -XPOST https://api2.branch.io/v1/url/bulk/key_live_kaFuWw8WvY7yn1d9yYiP8gokwqjV0Swt -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
  -d '[
    {
      "channel": "facebook",
      "feature": "onboarding",
      "campaign": "new product",
      "stage": "new user",
      "tags": ["one", "two", "three"],
      "data": {
        "$canonical_identifier": "content/123",
        "$og_title": "Title from Deep Link",
        "$og_description": "Description from Deep Link",
        "$og_image_url": "http://www.lorempixel.com/400/400/",
        "$desktop_url": "http://www.example.com",
        "custom_boolean": true,
        "custom_integer": 1243,
        "custom_string": "everything",
        "custom_array": [1,2,3,4,5,6],
        "custom_object": { "random": "dictionary" }
      }
    },
    {
      "channel": "facebook",
      "feature": "onboarding",
      "campaign": "new product",
      "stage": "new user",
      "tags": ["one", "two", "three"],
      "data": {
        "$canonical_identifier": "content/123",
        "$og_title": "Title from Deep Link",
        "$og_description": "Description from Deep Link",
        "$og_image_url": "http://www.lorempixel.com/400/400/",
        "$desktop_url": "http://www.example.com"
      }
    }
  ]'
[
  {
    "url": "https://example.app.link/0AjuiLcpqF"
  },
  {
    "url": "https://example.app.link/5IULiLcpqF"
  },
  { 
    'error': 'error message'
  }
]

Delete Existing Deep Link

Endpoint

DELETE /v1/url
Content-Type: application/json
Body: JSON parameters
Host: api2.branch.io

📘

Not Available in Testing Environment

Request Headers

Header

Value

Required

Content-Type

application/json

Yes

Request Body Parameters

Parameter

Description

Required

access_key

Your API Key / Access Token; Learn how to retrieve your API key (a.k.a. Access Token)

Yes

url

The Deep Link URL to be deleted

Yes

Response Parameters

Parameter

Description

url

The Deep Link URL to be deleted

deleted

Returns true if the URL has been successfully deleted, false if not.

Example Request/Response

curl -X DELETE \
'https://api2.branch.io/v1/url?url=https://example.app.link/ABCD&app_id=YOUR_APP_ID' \
  -H "Access-Token: YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN"
{
  "url": "https://example.app.link/ABCD",
  "deleted": true
}

Read Existing Deep Link

Endpoint

GET /v1/url
Content-Type: application/json
Body: JSON parameters
Host: api2.branch.io

Request Headers

Header

Value

Required

Content-Type

application/json

Yes

Request Body Parameters:

Parameter

Description

Required

branch_key

The Branch key of the originating app; from your Branch Settings Dashboard

Yes

url

The deep link url you want read.

Yes

Response Parameters

Parameter

Description

array of properties

Returns Android SDK deep link properties](/using-branch/docs/creating-a-deep-link#section-read-deep-links).

Example Request/Response

curl -XGET 'https://api2.branch.io/v1/url?url=https://example.app.link/WgiqvsepqF&branch_key=key_live_kaFuWw8WvY7yn1d9yYiP8gokwqjV0Swt'
{
  "campaign": "new product",
  "channel": "facebook",
  "feature": "onboarding",
  "stage": "new user",
  "tags": [
    "one",
    "two",
    "three"
  ],
  "data": {
    "$canonical_identifier": "content/123",
    "$desktop_url": "http://www.example.com",
    "$og_description": "Description from Deep Link",
    "$og_image_url": "http://www.lorempixel.com/400/400/",
    "$og_title": "Title from Deep Link",
    "$one_time_use": false,
    "custom_array": [
      1,
      2,
      3,
      4,
      5,
      6
    ],
    "custom_boolean": true,
    "custom_integer": 1243,
    "custom_object": {
      "random": "dictionary"
    },
    "custom_string": "everything",
    "~campaign": "new product",
    "~channel": "facebook",
    "~creation_source": 0,
    "~feature": "onboarding",
    "~id": "423196192848102356",
    "~stage": "new user",
    "~tags": [
      "one",
      "two",
      "three"
    ],
    "url": "https://example.app.link/WgiqvsepqF"
  },
  "type": 0,
  "alias": null
}

Update Existing Deep Link

Endpoint

PUT /v1/url
Content-Type: application/json
Body: JSON parameters
Host: api2.branch.io

Request Headers

Header

Value

Required

Content-Type

application/json

Yes

Request Body Parameters:

Parameter

Description

Required

branch_key

The Branch key of the originating app; from your Branch Settings Dashboard

Yes

branch_secret

The Branch secret if the originating app; from your Branch Settings Dashboard

Yes

url

The deep link url you want updated

Yes

Example Request/Response

curl -XPUT 'https://api2.branch.io/v1/url?url=https%3A%2F%2Fexample.app.link%2F5IULiLcpqF' -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
  -d '{
  "branch_key": "key_live_kaFuWw8WvY7yn1d9yYiP8gokwqjV0Swt",
  "branch_secret": "secret_live_RrrsLqpzVcoVWf5t4ncQVpzlg2pRpGH9",
  "channel": "twitter",
  "data":{
    "name":"alex",
    "user_id":"12346"
  }
}'
{
  "data": {
    "+url": "https://example.app.link/5IULiLcpqF",
    "~creation_source": 0,
    "user_id": "12346",
    "$one_time_use": false,
    "~id": "423196096467215333",
    "name": "alex",
    "~campaign": "new product",
    "~channel": "twitter",
    "$identity_id": "755468067194863158",
    "~stage": "new user",
    "~feature": "onboarding",
    "url": "https://example.app.link/5IULiLcpqF"
  },
  "type": 0,
  "campaign": "new product",
  "feature": "onboarding",
  "channel": "twitter",
  "stage": "new user"
}

Link Update Tips

  • A link's data object is overwritten entirely by the Link update API, so make sure to include all of the link's data when updating it (not just the data you're changing)
  • To update links in bulk, combine the Link update and Link read APIs when creating a script.

The sample Python script below reads a 2-column CSV file, and updates a key specified in the script for all links listed in column A, with the values in column B:

import requests
import csv
import sys
import urllib
import json

def BranchUpdateModule(KeyV, SecretV, UpdateV, File):
    #Insert API key & App Secret from the Branch dashboard, and the Link data key you want to change in each link **
    branch_key = KeyV
    branch_secret = SecretV
    key_to_update = UpdateV


    #Insert filename for CSV containing links to update in first column, and values to add in second column **
    ifile = open(File, "r", encoding="utf-8")

    #Constants
    branchendpoint = "https://api2.branch.io/v1/url?url="
    reader = csv.reader(ifile, delimiter=',')


    # Uncomment the next line if you want the script to skip the first line of the CSV
    next(reader)

    # Loop through CSV
    for row in reader:

        # Retrieve link data for link being updated
        url = urllib.parse.quote_plus(row[0])
        getrequest = branchendpoint + url + "&branch_key=" + branch_key
        linkdata = requests.get(getrequest)
        jsonData = json.loads(linkdata.text)

        if linkdata.status_code != 200:
            print('Failed: {}'.format( getrequest))
            continue

        # Set credentials for update API
        jsonData["branch_key"] = branch_key
        jsonData["branch_secret"] = branch_secret

        #TODO for editing new value
        newValue = row[1]
        if key_to_update in jsonData:
            jsonData[key_to_update] = newValue
        if key_to_update in jsonData["data"]:
            jsonData["data"][key_to_update] = newValue

        if jsonData.get('type', None) is not None:
            del jsonData['type']
        if jsonData.get('alias', None):
            del jsonData['alias']
        payload = json.dumps(jsonData)
        #print("\n \n payload")
        #print(payload)
        putrequest = branchendpoint + url

        print(putrequest)
        r = requests.put(putrequest, json=jsonData)
        #print("\n \n")
        print(r.url)
        print(r)

        # print

    ifile.close()

Link Update Restrictions

There are certain restrictions when attempting to update links:

  • Not all links are updateable, namely links with the structure of bnc.lt/c/ or bnc.lt/d/
  • The alias of a link cannot be updated, e.g. 'https://bnc.lt/test' -> 'https://bnc.lt/test1'
  • The identity associated with a Branch link cannot be updated
  • The type of a link cannot be changed, e.g. a marketing link is type 2, and a standard link generated by our Branch SDK is type 0
  • The following additional fields cannot be updated:
    • app_id
    • randomized_bundle_token
    • domain
    • state
    • creation_source
    • app_short_identifier