Button Announces New Marketplace As Brands Turn To Mobile Commerce

Button-jaconiDeep-linking vendor Button announced the Button Marketplace on Thursday in an attempt to sustain the mobile app world without the need for digital ad dollars.

“It’s an entirely different paradigm for apps,” said Michael Jaconi, Button’s co-founder and CEO. “You can’t capitalize on search and intent in this world like you did for the web.”

The marketplace allows partners to deep link between apps based on a user’s contextual need. For instance, Ticketmaster might want to give Spotify listeners a button that links directly to a concert ticket sale. And unlike display ads, the button shares the aesthetic with the app in which it appears.


Reservation app Resy is the only initial partner that has integrated to deep link in and out of its app. (OpenTable, another Button partner, uses the service to set reservations from Foursquare.)

Ticketmaster signed up as an early partner in the Button Marketplace because “fans are gravitating to apps for discovery,” said Dan Armstrong, the company’s GM of distributed commerce.

Armstrong referred to the marketplace as “the connective tissue” for companies that see commerce as the future of mobile.

Button’s model is similar to what Google does with commerce-based search ads, deep linking to a specific page and taking a cut when the user converts. Jaconi said there are “different economic milestones” based on the client – an app download, a registration or subscription, a sale, etc. – but that the overall goal is driven by direct response.

Button sees a market opportunity in being the pipes that link interactions across apps. The problem is that the app ecosystem is heavily segmented – Jaconi compared it to millions of miniature walled gardens without the web’s capacity to connect and return between sites.

Button, however, isn’t the only company playing in this space. Last week, another mobile commerce company called Stripe announced Stripe Relay, which also aims provide frictionless payments between apps. And InMobi, a mobile advertising platform, recently launched a product called Miip, which features an animated monkey that guides users across a network of partner apps.

There’s a literal wealth of latent demand sitting untapped in the app world, said Jaconi, “and the pieces are being put in place to unleash all of that user intent through commerce.”

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1 Comment

  1. Other players in the space include URX and Quixey. Great model in theory. Interested to see execution and evolution.