Probabilistic Attribution FAQ

Probabilistic attribution is a mobile attribution method in which Singular collects device information passed through the tracking link when a user clicks on an ad. Probabilistic attribution is generally used when device-level IDs are not available.

Note: On iOS, probabilistic attribution methods are not allowed or supported.

 

What is probabilistic attribution?

Probabilistic attribution is a mobile attribution method in which Singular collects device information passed through the tracking link when a user clicks on an ad on Android.

When a user downloads and opens a mobile app on Android, the Singular SDK collects the same data from the device and sends it to the Singular servers, enabling Singular to search for a matching device in its database.

Note: Singular does not support probabilistic attribution with view-through campaigns.

How does probabilistic attribution compare to using device IDs?
  • Probabilistic attribution is not as reliable as matching devices by their unique identifier. Singular uses probabilistic attribution as a fallback if no device identifiers are available (and neither is the Google Install Referrer, for Android devices).
  • Probabilistic attribution also uses a different attribution lookback window. The data used in this attribution method, such as the IP address, changes much more often than device identifiers (which users can reset but rarely do so). The accuracy of the device match decays exponentially after 24 hours. For this reason, Singular limits the lookback window to 24 hours.
  • Singular does not support probabilistic attribution with view-through campaigns.
When is probabilistic attribution typically used?

Since device identifiers are only available in mobile app environments, any advertising campaigns that run on a mobile web environment have to rely on probabilistic attribution when the Google Install Referrer isn't available.

For example:

  • Email campaigns
  • Tracking organic downloads from your mobile web landing page
  • Campaigns with ad networks working with mobile web inventory
What data does Singular collect for probabilistic attribution?

Singular relies on data points such as:

  • Platform
  • IP Address
  • OS Name
  • OS Version
  • User Agent
  • Timestamp

Note that this is publicly available information available in the HTTP headers.