What is SKAdNetwork?
SKAdNetwork is an iOS framework for privacy-preserving mobile install attribution. It aims to help measure conversion rates of app install campaigns without compromising users’ identities.
When a user clicks an SKAdNetwork ad and is directed to the App Store, the publishing app and the network provide the store with some basic attribution parameters. Then, after the user installs the app and launches it, the device sends the network notification on a successful conversion. The device sends the attached attribution parameters along with a conversion value that can be updated by the advertised app.
The notification is at least 24 hours after the first app launch and does not contain any device- or user-identifying information. Additionally, the advertised app does not receive any information about the original ad and publisher. This way, the network knows an install has happened, but the install is not tied to a specific user, which preserves the user's privacy.
SKAdNetwork Attribution Parameters
Here are the attribution parameters supported by SKAdNetwork. These are included in the postback sent to the publishing ad network.
|Ad Network ID||A unique identifier representing the ad network that served the ad.|
|Campaign ID||A number between 1 to 100 representing the campaign.|
|Source App ID||The App Store ID of the publisher app in which the ad was displayed (from iOS 14).|
|Redownload||A flag that indicates that the user has redownloaded and reinstalled the app.|
- The Source App ID and Redownload flag are only available starting with iOS 14.
- The Source App ID is included in the attribution postback only if there are enough conversions coming from that specific publisher according to Apple's privacy thresholds to protect the user's privacy.
Starting with iOS 14, SKAdNetwork introduces conversion values as a way to track post-install events in the short term and measure the quality of your users in an aggregated manner.
The conversion value is a highly limited tool:
- It's a 6-bit value representing a number between 0 and 63.
- The device always sends a single postback following an install or redownload. You can update SKAdNetwork with a new conversion value multiple times (as long as you increase the number), but only the last conversion value is included in the postback.
- Conversion values can only be updated within a limited time window. The initial window is 24 hours from the first launch. Every time you update the conversion value, the window is extended by 24 hours.
- The conversion value only appears if there are enough installed users from that segment according to Apple’s privacy thresholds.
Singular’s SKAdNetwork Solution
Leveraging SKAdNetwork as an advertiser requires three main components:
- SDK implementation and conversion management, to generate useful SKAdNetwork datasets.
- Receiving and validating SKAdNetwork postbacks from your ad network partners.
- Reporting and analytics based on SKAdNetwork data, as well as the ability to combine it with other datasets you have to make sense of the attribution parameters.
Singular provides solutions for each one of these areas, as we’ll cover below.
SKAdNetwork SDK and Conversion Management
The new version of the Singular SDK for iOS has built-in support for SKAdNetwork. To add it, follow our guide for Adding SKAdNetwork Support.
For customers using our server-to-server integration, we will release guidelines for using our S2S for tracking and managing conversions soon.
In Singular, you can create multiple conversion models, test them to compare their simulated results side by side, and choose the model that works best for your needs directly from your dashboard.
Our SDK will then update the conversion values automatically based on your chosen model.
To learn more about our conversion models, see Understanding Singular's Conversion Value Management.
SKAdNetwork Data Collection and Validation
Singular supports collecting and validating the cryptographically-signed SKAdNetwork postbacks from each ad network in order to identify any issues and protect against fraudulent activity.
Singular can collect SKAdNetwork data in different ways, depending on the partner:
- Collecting SKAdNetwork data results from the ad networks aggregated APIs.
- Receiving real-time postbacks from the ad networks with the SKAdNetwork signatures.
- Receiving real-time postbacks directly from the devices using our Secure-SKAN setup to protect against conversion manipulation.
Once SKAdNetwork is onboarded in your account, we automatically use the relevant integration method for each partner.
SKAdNetwork Reporting and Combining
Once the SKAdNetwork data is collected and validated, you can analyze the results in our SKAdNetwork reports together with the rest of your statistics. We use our standard data connectors to pull the ad network statistics and combine them with their SKAdNetwork results to provide actionable insights.
Here are the supported fields for SKAdNetwork:
Dimensions and Campaign Properties:
Metrics and Cohort Metrics:
You can also configure specific custom events and their cohort periods according to your selected conversion model:
For more information about each field, see our Metrics and Dimensions guide.