Audiences guide

At a glance: Increase the efficiency of your remarketing programs using AppsFlyer Audiences to build and connect audience segments to your partner networks.

Audiences_us-en.png 

 Related articles: Audiences partners | User Attributes | Import audience | Incrementality guide 

Audiences basics

An audience is a segment of current or past users of your app that meet the specific criteria that you define. You define these criteria using one or more sets of rules (called, appropriately enough, rulesets).

Once you have defined an audience and connected it to a partner, AppsFlyer Audiences creates the audience on the partner's system and sends identifiers for the members of that audience to the partner. This enables them to serve your ads only to these users.

All the information needed to upload audience data to an advertising partner is specified in a partner connection. You can have multiple connections for a single advertising partner (using different accounts, login information, etc.)

 Note

In order to enable compliance with the privacy requirements of iOS 14.5 and other user privacy considerations, Audiences allows you full control to determine which identifiers are shared with partners, both at the account level and for each partner connection.

Audience split and incrementality testing

You can upload each of your audiences to one or more advertising partners, with the following options:

  • Upload the full audience to each partner.
  • Split the audience randomly among partners, according to the percentages you choose.
  • Create a control group by specifying a percentage of the audience to be held back from partners, for A/B testing purposes or measurement of incremental lift generated by your remarketing campaigns.

Getting started

Follow these steps to get started with Audiences:

  Step Details
1 Set account-level policy for sharing identifiers

Audiences user identifier policy

2 Add an audience

Add an audience

3 Connect the audience to one or more partners Add an audience
Optional Split the audience among partners/control group
Optional Import an audience
Optional Import user attributes

Add and manage audiences

Add an audience

To add an audience:

  1. Go to Integration > Audiences

  2. Click Add Audience.
    The Build tab displays.

  3. Enter a unique Audience name.

  4. Select the platform: Android or iOS.

  5. [Optional] Select Advanced settings to select the user identifier:
    • [Default] Device ID: Evaluates rules by device ID only.
    • Customer ID: Evaluates rules by grouping devices using the CUID. (Use this method only after you verify that your data has valid CUIDs.)
  6. Select New ruleset.
  7. Build the audience guided by the user interface.
    • For specific information about rule options, see All about rulesets.
    • Combine rulesets using the operators and, or, exclude.
    • As you build your audience, the panes on the right side automatically update estimated audience and per-partner upload sizes.
  8. Complete defining the audience, click Save audience and proceed.
    The audience connection window opens.
  9. Do one of the following:
  10. Click Save.

Manage audiences

Manage audiences from the Audiences dashboard:

  1. Go to Integration > Audiences.
  2. The following options are available:
    Option Description

    Add audience

    Build a new audience

    Change audience settings 

    Click an Audience name, do one of the following: 

    • In the Build tab: view, and change rulesets.
    • In the Connect tab: set audience split, and control group options.

    Actions 

     

    • View history: Displays the audience upload history including audience size, and split between partners.
    • Upload now: Sends the audience to connected partners.
    • Download as CSV
      • Generates and downloads the audience list as CSV files(s) that include the identifiers you select. Only data that complies with your user identifier policy will be downloaded.
      • One file is generated for each partner.
      • The file(s) are downloaded after calculation of the audience, which can take some time after you create or modify an audience.
      • Downloaded files are limited to 5 million records. For larger files, send the file to an S3 bucket or use SFTP
    • Duplicate
      • Copies the audience definition.
      • When you duplicate an audience, give it a unique name. 
      • [Option] Remove one or more of the connected partners during duplication.
    • Calculate now: [For imported audiences] Recalculates the number of users in an audience. Use as needed to refresh the audience size if it does not look correct. 
    • Delete the audience
    Bulk actions

    Carry out the same action on multiple audiences. To use bulk actions, select two or more audiences, then select one of the following bulk actions:

    • Upload now
    • Show audience overlap: displays the audience overlap between the selected audiences
    • Delete

User identifier—Device ID vs. Customer ID

Audience rule evaluation is performed using an app user identifier. Select from:

  • [Default] Device ID: Ruleset compliance is assessed using the device ID (GAID or IDFA/IDFV). When compliant with the ruleset, the device ID is added to the audience list. Note: The device ID will be shared with partners only when permitted by your user identifier policy.
  • Customer ID (CUID):

    CuidExaplainded_us-en.jpg

    • Ruleset compliance is assessed by grouping all device IDs associated with the same CUID. If the group complies with the ruleset, then the device IDs comprising the group are added to the audience. Note: The CUID itself is not part of the audience list.
    • CUID implementation considerations:
      • Ensure that your data is populated with valid CUIDs.
      • App users (devices) without a CUID are ignored.
      • When a device ID is matched to a CUID, historical audience data for the user is updated retroactively and included in audience builds going forward. Note: No change is made to raw data. 
      • If a device ID is associated with two different CUIDs, the most recently-associated CUID is used.

 Example: Device ID vs. CUID

Raw data for example
Advertising
ID
CUID Purchase $
A 99 1
A 99 2
B 77 1
B 77 5
C 99 3
D None 50
Users who purchased at least $5
Rule evaluated by Device IDs included in the audience Explanation
Device ID B, D, E A and C are not included - the spend was less than $5
CUID A, B, C
  • A and C have the same CUID (99) - the combined spend is $6. 
  • D is ignored - there is no CUID

Audience split and control groups

When you activate the split audience option, Audiences randomly splits the audience among 2-10 partners, in accordance with the percentages you choose.

Feature Description

Split audience

 

  • Specify the percentage of the audience to allocate to each partner. A unique portion of the audience is uploaded to each partner in accordance with these specified percentages.
  • Split audiences for a variety of reasons, such as A/B testing.
  • Caution: Modifying an existing split allocation between partners causes redistribution of the entire audience. This can negatively impact the validity of A/B or incrementality test measurements.
Control group

A portion of the audience can be held back in a control group, which is not sent to any partner:

  • Control groups are used in A/B testing and to measure the incremental lift of your remarketing campaigns
Send a copy of split lists to an S3 bucket

CSV files containing the split audience lists and control group can be sent to an Amazon S3 bucket.

  • Note: This is not the same as defining Amazon S3 as a connected partner.
  • The audience lists can be downloaded to a CSV file. Use the CSV file, for example, to send to partners who are not integrated with AppsFlyer.

Set split audience and control group

  1. Go to Integration > Audiences.
  2. In the Audiences tab, select the audience.
  3. Go to the Connect tab.
    audience split The current settings display:
    • The top, right-side pane displays estimated total audience and upload sizes (for all partners)
    • The bottom, right-side presents a visualization of:
      • Estimated upload size for each partner
      • Partner overlap (for audiences that aren't split)
  4. Take any of the following actions:
Action

Procedure

Split an audience between partners and control group

 

To split an audience among partners/enable a control group:

  1. Turn on Split audience.
    • The total of the control group and split to partners combined must be 100%.
    • If you don't want to include the control group in the split: allocate 0%.
    • All connected partners must be allocated a portion of the split (Don't allocate a partner 0%)
    • To view the total allocated: scroll down; the total percent split displays. 
  2. Enter the percentage allocated to:
    • Control group. [Recommended] 15% or more. 
    • Enter a split percentage per connection. 
    • Scroll down to display the total allocation in percent, and make sure that the total allocation is 100%. 
    • Click Save split.
    • Click Save.

Copy split groups to S3

To send a copy of the audience split list to an S3 bucket:

  1. Click Copy split groups to S3.
  2. Select a connection.
  3. Click Save.

Files are sent using the following directory and filename structure:

  • Directory
     \YYYY-MM-DD\audienceID_audienceName_timestamp\
  • Filename: the name of the partner or control group
    Note: If the connection to the partner fails, and the file is not uploaded, the word failed will be appended to the partner name (for example, partner_name_failed.csv)
Create and add a new connection

To create a new connection:

  1. Click Add partner connection.

  2. Type a connection name.

  3. Select a partner.

  4. Complete the process according to the instructions in the user interface.

  5. Click Add partner connection.

Add or remove an existing connection

To remove or add an existing connection:

  1. Click Link connections.
  2. Select or clear select connections.
  3. Click Save.

All about rulesets

Audience segmentation rulesets

Audiences_us-en.png

  • An audience segment ruleset consists of a mandatory primary rule and additional secondary rules to enable precision filtering.
  • Combine rulesets using operators: and, or, exclude.
  • As rules are defined and layered, the estimated audience size displays in real-time.
  • Where an audience consists of multiple rulesets, use the overlap visualization display to better understand your audience segments.
  • The user identifier used to evaluate rules is either the device ID [default] or the customer user ID (CUID).
  • The examples that follow illustrate ruleset implementation in various scenarios.

Ruleset examples

Example with revenue

Users who installed the app during the last seven days, and spent $1

audiences_new_21.png

Example: Location-based rule

Users from New York who uninstalled the app in the last month

audiences_new_22.png

Example: User attributes-based rule

Users who launched the app in the last 7 days at least once and whose favorite sport is cricket.

UserAttributedExample2.jpg

Remarketing example

Using clicks and views for effective remarketing. To convert these users, a little extra convincing or a gentle reminder is needed. These users have a high probability of converting, so remarketing to them, can produce significantly better results, than advertising to new segments. Create precise audiences for remarketing based on clicks and impressions data collected.

Build an audience of potential users that clicked on an ad but did not install in the last two days.

Remarketing_example.png

These are users who, in the recent past, were sufficiently interested in your mobile app to click on your ad, but for some reason did not install the app, or installed the app but did not launch it. Some users just need a reminder (push) to install it. Others may need to see more screens or features of your app to finally convert. Therefore, if you have a primary creative you use on new audiences, it might be better to use a different creative for audiences that clicked but did not install.

Primary rule

You must define one primary rule per ruleset.

Rule attribute Options

AudiencePrimaryRule_us-en.png

A.png App

Users of the App

App is any app housed in the account. The team member defining the audience needs permission for all apps referenced.

B.png Engagement type

Who have:

  • Launched the app
  • Viewed an ad
  • Clicked an ad
  • Installed the app
  • Launched the app
C.png Time frame
  • In the last [n] days (n=1-9999)
  • Between [specified data range]
  • At any time
D.png Frequency

Used the app:

  • At least [n] times
  • Exactly [n] times
  • At most [n] times

[n]=1-100

Secondary rules

  • Secondary rules are optional
  • You can have multiple secondary rules
  • Each rule has a unique type, for example, engagement, in-app event, revenue
  • Rules have different parameters and settings, as listed in the table

Engagement

AudiencesEngagement_us-en.png

A.png Engagement type:

  • Viewed an ad
  • Clicked an ad
  • Installed the app
  • Did not install the app
  • Launched the app
  • Did not launch the app
  • Uninstalled the app 

B.png Time frame and Frequency 

In-app event

AudiencesEvent_us-en.png

A.png

  • Did event [event name]
  • Did not do event: [event name]

B.png

Time frame and Frequency 

C.png

Event attribute:

  • Is
  • Greater than
  • Less than

Notes relating to in-app events

  • The in-app event list updates daily.
  • In-app events, having attributes of more than 100 unique values aren't available by default. For example, the in-app event product can have many more than 100 unique values. To enable such an in-app event, reach out to your CSM or send an email to hello@AppsFlyer.com
  • If Did event is selected, and the in-app event has attributes associated with it, you can filter by in-app-event attribute value. 

Revenue

AudiencesRuleRevenue_us-en.png

A.png Total revenue generated 

B.png

  • Is
  • Greater than
  • Less than 

Notes about revenue:

  • The value is in USD.
  • The value is the total value of all events reported from a device using the af_revenue parameter.

Location and metro code

AudiencesLocation-us-en.png

A.png

  • Location 
  • Metro code

B.png

  • Is
  • Is not

C.png

Location options

  • Country
  • State 
  • City

Metro code options

  • Metro codes

Notes relating to location:

  • If you select multiple countries, you can't select states.
  • If you select multiple states, you can select cities.

Device

AudiencesDevice_us-en.png

A.png

  • Device brand
  • Device model 
  • App version
  • OS version
  • Carrier

B.png

  • Is 
  • Is not 

C.png Selected value

Attribution

AudiencesAttribution_us-en.png

A.png

  • Organic
  • Retargeting

B.png

  • False
  • True
 

User attribute

A.png

User attribute name

B.png

  • String type
    • Is 
    • Is not
  • Number type
    • Is
    • Greater than
    • Lower than

C.png
For string: Select a value

For number: Enter a value

Combine rulesets

To combine a ruleset with an existing audience:

  1. Go to Integration > Audiences.

  2. Click Add Audience.
    The Build tab displays.

  3. Enter a unique Audience name.

  4. Select the platform: Android or iOS.

  5. [Optional] Select Advanced settings to select the user identifier:
    • [Default] Device ID: evaluates rules by device ID only.
    • Customer user ID: evaluates rules by grouping devices using the CUID. Use this method after you verify that your data has valid CUIDs.
  6. Click Select from my audiences.
  7. Select an operator: and, or, exclude.

Managing connections

The Connections tab displays all your partner connections and the status of each.

Add a connection

To add a connection:

  1. Go to Integration > Audiences > Connections.
  2. Click Add partner connection.
  3. Enter a Connection name.
  4. Select a Partner.
  5. Complete the required fields/login information for the partner. Some partners have detailed instructions about how to connect. 
  6. Select the user identifiers that you authorize for sharing with this partner. 
    • Supported identifiers vary by partner. Only those identifiers supported by the selected partner will appear in the list.
    • Only identifiers that comply with your account-level user identifier policy will be uploaded. You will see a caution message if you select an identifier that is disallowed by your account policy.

      partner_connection_level_identifiers.png

  7. Click Save. 

Manage connections

To manage an existing connection:
  1. Select a partner.
  2. Select a connection.

    edit_partner_connection.png

  3. Take any of the following actions:
Option Procedure
Change the connection name

To change the connection name, edit it directly in the Connection name field. 

Reconnect

To reconnect: 

  1. If the connection status is not active, click reconnect.
  2. Update the connection credentials or login to the partner to reauthenticate according to the instruction in the user interface.
Modify user identifiers

To modify user identifiers, select/deselect the user identifiers that you authorize for sharing with this partnerOnly identifiers that comply with your account-level user identifier policy will be uploaded.

Delete connection

To delete a connection:

  1. If there are any audiences connected, remove them as follows:
    1. Select the audience.
    2. The audience connects tab opens in a new tab. 
    3. Remove the connection.
    4. Close the tab.
  2. Repeat this procedure until no audiences are connected to the connection.
  3. Click Delete connection.

Dashboard and metrics

Audiences dashboard

audiences dashboard
Column Description
Audience name

Audience name

Size  Number of users in the audience
Upload size Estimated audience size available for upload after application of your account-level user identifier policy and selected identifiers for the linked partner connections.
App name The app(s) referenced in the audience definition. These are not necessarily the apps targeted by the campaigns that utilize the audience.
Upload to 
  • Icons of partners to whom the audience is sent
  • SplitAudiences.png indicates that the audience is split between partners
Upload status
  • The current audience upload status
  • In case of failure, click View details and take corrective action in accordance with the detailed error message that displays
Incrementality

[Displays if you subscribe to Incrementality] 
Click on a link to go to the Incrementality dashboard

Audience tab columns

beta__small_.png Campaign metrics

metrics hash

 Note

The information in the remainder of this tab is applicable only if you are participating in the Campaign metrics beta. If you are not yet participating in the beta but wish to, contact your CSM or hello@appsflyer.com.


Campaign metrics basics

The Campaign metrics section of the Audiences dashboard displays data for campaigns that used an audience for targeting.

Supported partners: Currently, data is available for Facebook, Google Ads, and Snapchat.

To view Campaign metrics:

  1. Scroll to the far right of the Audiences dashboard to make the Campaign metrics section fully visible.
  2. Use the date picker to select the timeframe for which you want to display data. (By default, the dashboard displays data for the past 7 days.)

To download Campaign metrics for the selected timeframe:

  1. Click the Export button at the top of the Audiences dashboard.
  2. Once the file has been generated, it downloads automatically.

Summary view

The initial Campaign metrics view displays summary campaign data for each audience:

Column Description
Campaigns

Total number of campaigns that used the audience for targeting during the selected timeframe (campaigns run with supported partners only)

Cost Total cost of these campaigns during the selected timeframe
Revenue Total revenue attributed to these campaigns during the selected timeframe
Summary view columns

Detailed view

From the summary view, click on the show_detailed_view_icon.png icon to enter the detailed view for the selected audience. (The  show_detailed_view_icon.png icon appears at the far right of a row when you place your mouse anywhere on that row.)

The detailed view displays data broken down by supported partner and campaign:

If the selected audience was used to target more than one app, use the drop-down list pin_A.png to filter the data by app.

Click the Overview dashboard link pin_B.png to view the campaigns on the Overview dashboard:

  • The dashboard will open in a new browser tab, automatically filtered by the relevant campaigns.
  • If the Overview dashboard link is disabled, you can enable it by selecting a single app from the drop-down list pin_A.png. Once the link is enabled, clicking it will take you to the Overview dashboard for the selected app.
Column Description
Cost

Campaign cost during the selected timeframe (in total, then broken down by supported partner and campaign)

Revenue Revenue attributed to the campaigns during the selected timeframe (in total, then broken down by supported partner and campaign)
Daily reach The average number of unique users per day who saw ads from the campaign during the selected timeframe (as reported by the partner)
Detailed view columns

Data sources and availability

It's easier to understand the availability of Campaign metrics data when we take a look at where the data comes from:

  • Partner data: Since you select the audience(s) to be targeted by specific campaigns through your advertising partners, only these partners are able to provide certain information:
    • The connection of an audience to a campaign (in other words, the fact that a particular audience was used for targeting by that campaign)
    • The number of unique users per day who saw ads from the campaign ("daily reach")
  • AppsFlyer data: Cost and revenue data is provided by AppsFlyer.

Partner data availability

Data is reported only for campaigns run with supported partners.

  • Note: Google Ads doesn't support the reporting of daily reach.

AppsFlyer data availability

Cost and revenue data is available within the context of Campaign metrics if it is reported for your apps in other areas of AppsFlyer (for example, the Overview and Event dashboards).

Why don't I see Campaign metrics data for campaigns run with supported partners?

There are two primary reasons that you may not see Campaign metrics data even for campaigns run with supported partners:

  • There are (or were) no active campaigns targeting the relevant audience during the selected timeframe.
  • The user configured for the partner connection doesn't have permissions to receive campaign-level data.
    • To view this data, change the user's permissions with the partner or use different credentials in the partner connection settings.

Traits and limitations

Traits

Audiences traits
Trait  Supported Remarks 
Ad networks  x  
Agencies  x  
Agency transparency  x  
App-specific time zone N/A  
App-specific currency  N/A  
Size limitations N/A  
Organic data Included
Non-organic data Included
Data freshness Daily UTC
  • Updates are pushed to partners on a daily basis
  • The in-app event lists in the rule-builder update Daily. 
Historical data See data freshness
Team member access
  • Some functions, like CSV download, setting S3, SFTP, and Slack partner connections require team member access to raw data
  • As a security measure, if the account of the team member who created an audience has been deleted, AppsFlyer stops uploading that audience's data to the advertising partner(s). To check the upload status of your audiences, go to Integration > Audiences. To reactivate the audience, duplicate it and configure the split audience settings.

Limitations

  • A positive condition is required to create a base audience (primary rule). Then reduce it by negative conditions. For example, installed the app AND did not do af_purchase event.
  • Windows Phone not supported.
  • Audience names cannot be changed on the connected partners’ side.
  • Nested event values aren't supported.
  • When creating an audience, only the top 100 events display. However, when you begin entering an event name, all events display.
  • In-app events having more than 100 attributes by default aren't recorded. Contact your CSM if more attributes are required.
  • Clicks and impressions data only contains devices that have an advertising_id/idfa on their original click URL. The devices of users from SRNs, which don't use external attribution links, are not included in the click data for audiences.
  • When using the Total Revenue filter within the query builder, the estimated audience size is not available. This doesn't affect the audience creation process.
  • You cannot combine imported audiences with other audiences or rulesets.
  • Download file size limited to 5 million records.
  • Google Ads: UAC campaigns aren't supported. Other campaign types are supported. 
  • Event reports by S2S must have a user identifier of CUID according to the ruleset.
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