Discrepancies between AppsFlyer and third-party platforms

At a glance: Learn about the reasons for differences in attribution between AppsFlyer and third-party platforms.

Overview

Due to data-sharing policies of media sources that provide user-level data, not all data is shared with third-party platforms (such as analytics and marketing platforms). For these reasons, there may be attribution discrepancies between data shown on third-party platforms and the data in AppsFlyer.

 Note

Aggregated and analytics data from the AppsFlyer platform is available without limitation.

Postback restrictions on third-party platforms

When it comes to sending postbacks to third-party platforms, there are different levels of media source restrictions. Postbacks can either not be sent at all, be sent with no attribution, or be sent without any restriction. 

Types of postback restrictions

No postbacks are sent

Postbacks for raw data events restricted by media sources, as detailed in this table, aren't sent to third-party platforms. This means third-party platforms don't get postbacks of such events, leading to less attribution on their platform compared to AppsFlyer.

Postbacks are sent with no attribution

For events other than restricted raw data events, the ad networks listed below require advertisers to redact the media source when sharing postbacks to third-party platforms. AppsFlyer does this by substituting the original media source with organic attribution. This means postbacks of such events sent to third-party platforms don't include attribution to the media source, leading to less attribution on their platform compared to AppsFlyer:

  • Amazon
  • Meta ads
  • Pinterest 
  • Snapchat (TOS)
  • X Ads
  • Bing
  • Yahoo (Oath: Ad Platforms / Yahoo Gemini)

 Note

For Meta Ads, postbacks are sent only for users coming via the gp_referrer parameter.

Regular postbacks

All other events that aren't restricted or the media source isn't redacted are sent as regular postbacks. This includes aggregated events.

Postback restrictions are applicable to all third-party platforms integrated with AppsFlyer, including the following:
Airship Amplitude Batch Braze CleverTap Cloud
Convertro deltaDNA Eulerian GameAnalytics IBM UBX Insider
iTunes Kahuna Leanplum Liquid Localytics Luna labs
Medialyzer Mixpanel MoEngage mParticle OneSignal Rocketbox
Salesforce Marketing MobilePush Segment Spoteffects Swrve
Tapcart Tealium WebEngage Winclap Analytics    

Examples of discrepancies

Raw data restrictions on Mixpanel

Example 1

An advertiser uses Meta ads to place an ad. They're also working with Mixpanel to better understand how users behave and interact with their website. The advertiser checks to see the number of installs attributed to Meta ads in the last month:

On AppsFlyer On Mixpanel

The advertiser sees 100 installs attributed to Meta ads.

30 of the installs were attributed using the gp_referrer parameter. These events aren't restricted and appear in raw data reports.

The advertiser sees only 30 installs attributed to Meta ads. Mixpanel didn't get postbacks for 70 restricted events.

Raw data restrictions on MoEngage

Example 2

An advertiser uses Pinterest to place an ad. They're also working with MoEngage to get insights on customer engagement. The advertiser checks to see how many "Add to wishlist" events were attributed to Pinterest in the last month:

On AppsFlyer On MoEngage

The advertiser sees 97 "Add to wishlist" events attributed to Pinterest.

The advertiser doesn't see any "Add to wishlist" events attributed to Pinterest. MoEngage didn't get click-through and view-through event postbacks from Pinterest since they're restricted events.

Restrictions on Airship

Example 3

An advertiser uses Bing to place an ad. They're also working with Airship to optimize the user journey on their mobile app. The advertiser checks to see how many purchase events were attributed to Bing in the last month:

On AppsFlyer On Airship

The advertiser sees 35 purchase events attributed to Bing.

The advertiser sees 84 purchase events from organic sources. 35 of them came from Bing, but they wouldn't know that since those purchase events appear as organic.

See also

FAQs on raw data content restrictions.