Introduction to Singular Attribution

Learn how Singular's attribution tracking service works and what it can do.

For more information, see Attribution Lookback Window and Device Fingerprinting Methodology. To learn how to implement Singular Attribution, see Setting Up Singular Attribution: Overview.

 

What is mobile install attribution?

Mobile attribution is the process of connecting actions and activities that occur inside a mobile app to those that occur outside of it.

Singular makes these connections by linking an impression or click action that happens on a device to the install (first session) of a mobile app on that same device.

What methods are used to determine attribution?

Singular’s mobile attribution service uses the following methods to attribute installs:

Method Description
Install Referrer (Android Only)

This the most reliable attribution method. When a user clicks on an ad and reaches the Google Play store, a unique Singular referral ID is passed to Google Play. Once the user installs the app, the Singular SDK sends the Singular referral ID forwarded by the Play Store, and attribution is performed.

Additionally, Singular uses the same referrer technology to capture other attributions labeled in Singular as UTM Referrer attributions.

Identifier Matching

This method uses the Google Advertising ID (AIFA) or iOS Advertising ID (IDFA) that are sent within the tracking link. Once Singular receives an install event arrives from the Singular SDK integrated in an app, the install is matched to the ad click based on the shared advertising ID. Identifier matching has a maximum of a 30-day attribution window.
Device Fingerprinting

This method is used when deterministic attribution methods, such as ones based on the install referrer, aren't available.

The tracking URL collects basic information of the device, including IP address and model, which results in a unique fingerprint. When the app is installed, the same fingerprint is generated locally on the device and sent to Singular through a Singular SDK session. Singular matches the session and the click through the fingerprint. Fingerprint matching is limited to 24 hours. For more information, see Device Fingerprinting Methodology.

Self-Attributing Networks

Singular has a special partnership with networks such as Facebook, Google Ads, Twitter, Apple Search Ads, Snapchat, and Yahoo Gemini.

Note: In accordance with Google and Apple privacy policies, Singular tracks unique devices and their attribution information using the user-resettable Google Advertising ID (AIFA) and iOS Advertising ID (IDFA). Singular retains a device’s install attribution information to ensure attribution and cohort accuracy. Re-engagements can be tracked any number of times with supported partners.

What is re-engagement attribution?

Re-engagement campaigns target users who have already installed the app. Singular can track and attribute successful user re-engagement for supported partners.

Note that re-engagement attribution is performed based on device identifiers included in the tracking link. Singular cannot perform re-engagement attribution where identifiers are not available (i.e. fingerprinting). In addition, Singular supports re-engagement tracking with click-based tracking links only (not view-through campaigns).

What is event attribution?

In event attribution, Singular identifies a user event that occurs on the device and attributes it to the same source as the last install or re-engagement. This enables you, for example, to track the revenue you gain from users you have acquired through different advertising networks.

UTM Referrer Attributions (Android Only)

Android apps with the Singular SDK leverage the Android Referrer API to pass a Singular referral ID for attribution. Attributions to the Singular referral ID are prioritized as they are attributions tracked via Singular tracking links. However, referrer technology also allows Singular to capture attributions from anyone who clicks on a Play Store URL with UTM referrers appended.

Since these are attributions not tracked through a paid source via Singular, UTM Referrer attributions are only counted if no other paid source claims the attribution. UTM Referrer attributions can often offer interesting insights to where additional "Organic" traffic can be coming from. For example, apps downloaded from the app search tab in the Android Facebook app will be tracked in Singular as a "UTM Referrer" attribution to "app.facebook.com".

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If you would like to enable UTM Referrer tracking for your Android apps, please reach out to your customer success manager.

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