Mobile Attribution Glossary

Find concise definitions for important attribution terms, or use this article as an index to find where each concept is explored in depth.

Term Description Learn More
Conversion Type The type of touchpoint (ad click or ad view) that led to a conversion (install). When running reports in Singular, you can get the reports broken down by the conversion type. Metrics and Dimensions
Download The action of downloading an app onto a mobile device. Not to be confused with install, which in Singular is defined as the first time an app is opened on a mobile device.  The number of downloads reported by an app store may be different from the number of installs reported by Singular, because users sometimes download apps but don't open them, or open them at a later date. Comparing Singular Reports to Apple App Store/Google Play
Event A user interaction inside an app, e.g. a purchase, a level-up, or a sign-up for a user account. The Singular SDK/S2S integration can be set up to track specific events and report them to Singular so they can be used for campaign analytics and performance optimization. Events are automatically attributed to the source of the app install (or to the source of the re-engagement, if any was recorded). Tracking Post-Install Events and Uninstalls
Event Postback Lookback Window A setting that determines how long after an install Singular should send a postback about an event to the attributed partner. For example, if you set up a postback lookback window of 7 days for an event of the type "purchase", Singular will only send a postback about a purchase event to the partner if the event occurred within 7 days of the install. Note that this setting does not change the attribution of the event in Singular (it is still credited to the same partner as the install). The setting only affects postback decisions.  
Install In Singular, an app install is defined as the first time a user opens the app (the first session).  Singular's Install Attribution Process
Install Attribution The process of attributing an app install to an ad in a partner network. Other types of attribution are re-engagement attribution and event attribution. Singular's Install Attribution Process 
Install Referrer

An Android Install Referrer is a parameter that provides information about how an Android app was installed. It typically includes details such as the source of the installation, such as a referral link, campaign ID, or other identifying information that helps app developers and marketers track the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and user acquisition strategies.

Install Referrer API is a feature provided by Google Play services for Android apps. Other Android app stores (such as Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei) offer their own install referrer attribution as well. 

Singular's Attribution Methods
Lookback Window A setting that determines how far back Singular searches for the ad engagement that led to an install (or re-engagement) event. The Attribution Lookback Window
Postback A notification that Singular sends to a customer or a partner about an install (including attribution decision), user sessions, and post-install events. Postbacks are used to determine credit and billing as well as for analysis and campaign optimization. Configuring Internal BI Postbacks
Re-attribution The action of changing the attribution to a different source from the original one. In Singular, this can happen in cases of re-engagement: the user's re-engagement may be attributed to a different partner network than the one that got credit for the original app install. Re-engagement FAQ
Re-engagement In Singular, re-engagement is defined as the user's opening of an app that they have already used before, following a click on a retargeting ad. The ad is thus considered to have been effective. You can include the Re-engagements metric in your reports to see the number of re-engaged users (per campaign, app, source, etc.). Re-engagement FAQ
Retargeting A type of mobile marketing that targets existing users of an app or other product, and aims to get them to re-engage with the product. You can include the Retargeting dimension in your reports to have your report broken down by whether the ad campaign was a retargeting campaign or not. Re-engagement FAQ
SAN (Self-Attributing Network) An advertising platform that manages its own attribution. SANs include Facebook, Twitter, Google Ads, Snapchat, and others. Singular has special integrations with major SANs that allow it to receive data from the SAN about clicks and impressions inside the network and run Singular's attribution logic accordingly. Attribution Methods

An opening of the app (in the foreground) by a user. If you integrate the Singular SDK/S2S in your app, it notifies the Singular servers whenever there is a new session, with several possible outcomes:

  • If it's the first session ever detected for the app on a specific device ("first app open"), Singular triggers the install attribution process.
  • If the session is not the first session, but it comes after the user has clicked on a retargeting ad, Singular triggers the re-engagement attribution process.
  • Otherwise, the session just counts as a normal session (useful, for example, to track user retention). A normal session is attributed to the source of the original install or the last re-engagement (if there was any).
Touchpoint Any user engagement/interaction with an ad prior to the install (or re-engagement). Touchpoints include ad clicks, ad impressions, and touchpoints reported by Self-Attributing Networks (SANs). The Install Attribution Process
Uninstall An event in which the user uninstalls the app from their device. Singular supports tracking uninstalls when the device platform makes it possible. Tracking Post-Install Events and Uninstalls