Discrepancies - How Does AppsFlyer Count Installs Compared To App Store and Google Play?

Sometimes there are discrepancies between the AppsFlyer dashboard and the iTunes App Store or Google Play reports.

Set out below are the main causes for these differences:  

 Cause 

 App Store / Google Play  

 AppsFlyer

Install Record Date

  • Records installs once the user has installed the app, regardless of whether the user later started (opened) the app or not.
  • You set the time zone and align it with the AppsFlyer time zone.
  • AppsFlyer records new installs on installation time (the very first launch of the app)

Note: If the user does not launch the app, AppsFlyer does not track the install.

  • You can set the time zone.  For details, click here.

Installation Uniqueness 

Records one install per unique new user in consideration of:

  • App uninstalls 
  • Users with multiple devices
  • Device upgrades

In Google Play, you can view the numbers per device.

AppsFlyer records unique installs per new device.

If an app is released without the AppsFlyer SDK and is later re-released in the app stores with the AppsFlyer SDK integrated into it, AppsFlyer shows a peak of new installs.  This peak drops over time as users finish upgrading the app. For more details, see Example 5.

Note: This cause is the main reason that AppsFlyer usually records more installs.

 

Examples:

  1. A user installed (and opened) an app on both his or her iPhone and iPad. AppsFlyer counts this as two installs, whereas the App Store counts it as a single install.
  2. A user installed your app and did not even launch it once. AppsFlyer does not track the install, whereas the App Store and Google Play still count this as a new install.
  3. A user installed your app and launched it for the first time two weeks later. Google/iTunes record that install on the installation date, while AppsFlyer records the date of the first launch of the app. In some cases, this can cause major discrepancies in a short period of time. 
  4. A user has upgraded to a new device, synced the device to his or her App Store / Google Play account, and launched the app. AppsFlyer counts this as new organic install, whereas the App Store and Google Play do not.
  5. An app was released in 2012 without the AppsFlyer SDK. A user downloaded the app and used it. The app stores count that user in 2012, whereas AppsFlyer is still unaware of user and does not count it. Then, in March 2017, the app - now with the AppsFlyer SDK integrated into it releases a new version to the store. The user upgrades to the newest app version and launches it.  AppsFlyer counts the install as a new Organic install, whereas the store does not, as the user was already registered in 2012.
    This can be a major cause for discrepancies, especially if the app has a large user install base from the period prior to the AppsFlyer SDK integration.
IMPORTANT NOTES:
  • This does not affect the accuracy of the non-organic installs count. AppsFlyer credits only one install per ad click, even if the specific user has more than one device registered to their App Store / Google Play account.
  • It is always better to extend your compared time range when comparing AppsFlyer to Google/iTunes.
AppsFlyer's non-organic installation attribution can be found here.
Was this article helpful?
2 out of 4 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request
Powered by Zendesk