Attribution link structure and parameters

  • Advertisers
  • Agencies
  • Ad Networks

Introduction

AppsFlyer uses attribution links to record many elements relevant to the users clicks and impressions of mobile ads.

When a user clicks on an AppsFlyer attribution link the URL is saved in AppsFlyer's data bases, and the user is redirected to download the app. Supported parameters in the link get parsed and are available via AppsFlyer's raw data reports for advanced analysis.

AppsFlyer's base attribution link

The base attribution link contains the minimum information to record the click and redirect the user to download the app. Additional parameters may be added to the link after the '?' character, to record extra information.

http://app.appsflyer.com/{app_id}


The base attribution link goes to AppsFlyer via app.appsflyer.com. It contains the {App_id} parameter, which is the Application ID for Apple iTunes/App Store app, or the package name for Google Play.

 Example

The following attribution link for the com.greatapp app uses several parameters including Publisher ID (pid), campaign name (c) and adset ID (af_adset_id). See the table below for the full list of supported attribution link parameters and their explanations.
http://app.appsflyer.com/com.greatapp?pid=chartboost_int&c=christmas_sale&af_adset_id=54822

Attribution link parameters

The following parameters  are available to use within the generated attribution link.

 Note

For limitations on the length of parameter values go here

Parameters Display Name Description
pid Media Source Media source name - provided by AppsFlyer for integrated partners and should not be changed. More details.
c Campaign Campaign name - provided by the advertiser/publisher. Campaign names that exceed 100 characters in length are displayed on the dashboard as "c_name_exceeded_max_length"

af_prt

Agency

Agency Account Name - enables attributing new installs to the agency

af_mp

Marketing Partner

Allows marketing partners of major publishers to receive postbacks per install

 Note

Currently this parameter is relevant only for Pinterest Marketing Partners.

clickid

N/A

The Ad network unique click identifier

af_siteid

Site ID

Ad Network publisher ID

af_sub_siteid

Sub Site ID

Ad Sub-Network/Publisher ID

af_c_id

Campaign ID

Campaign ID - provided by the advertiser/publisher

af_adset

Adset

Adset Name - provided by the advertiser/publisher. Adset is an intermediate level in the hierarchy between Campaign and Ad. See more

af_adset_id

Adset ID

Adset ID - provided by the advertiser/publisher

af_ad

Ad

Ad Name (see more) - provided by the advertiser/publisher

af_ad_id

Ad ID Ad ID - provided by the advertiser/publisher

af_ad_type*

Ad Type

Ad Type - use one of the following name conventions:

text - an ad unit containing only text, e.g. a search result
banner - a basic format that appears at the top or bottom of the device screen
interstitial - a full-page ad that appears during breaks in the current experience
video - a standard video, i.e. non-rewarded
rewarded_videoan ad unit offering in-app rewards in exchange for watching a video
playable - an ad unit containing an interactive preview of the app experience
sponsored_content - a link included in a piece of sponsored content, like an advertorial article
audio - an audio ad

af_click_lookback

Lookback Window for Click Attribution. This window's duration is the maximum CTIT (Click Time to Install) for the new user to be attributed to the source displaying the ad/link.

Configurable number of days for the lookback click attribution period. Available parameter values: 1d - 30d (days) OR 1h-23h (hours). The default value is 7d.

 Note

Only affects click URLs and not impression URLs.

af_viewthrough_lookback

Lookback Window for View-through Attribution

Configurable number of days for the lookback view-through attribution period. Available parameter values: 1h - 48h (hours) OR 1d - 7d (days). The default is 1d.

 Note

Only affects impression URLs and not click URLs

is_retargeting

Is Retargeting Campaign?

EVERY retargeting campaign's click URL should include &is_retargeting=true.
If the parameter is not included or its value is "false" the campaign is considered as a regular user acquisition campaign.

af_reengagement_window

Re-Engagement Window

Change the re-engagement attribution window by adding this parameter to the attribution link.

You can insert here any time window from 1 day up to 90 days (1d - 90d), or from 1 hour to 36 hours (1h - 36h). The default value of this parameter is 30d.

Example - &af_reengagement_window=60d sets the re-engagement window to 60 days.

af_channel

Channel

The media source channel through which the ads are distributed, e.g., UAC_Search, UAC_Display, Instagram, Facebook Audience Network etc.

af_keywords

Keywords

Keywords list for text-targeted campaigns

af_cost_model

Cost Model

Cost model - CPI (default) is currently the only supported model, which can populate cost value in AppsFlyer's aggregated data, e.g. on the dashboard's overview page.

af_cost_currency

Cost Currency

Currency code (e.g. USD, EUR). Find all possible currency codes. Default value is USD.

af_cost_value

Cost Value

Conversion cost value. Supporting up to 4 digits after the decimal point.

 Important!

Set ONLY numerical digits (use the decimal point if needed), e.g., "56", "2.85" etc.

af_sub1

Sub Param 1

Subscriber Parameter 1 - Optional custom parameter defined by the advertiser. For more information about the usage of these parameters check the FAQs section.

af_sub2 Sub Param 2 Subscriber Parameter 2
af_sub3 Sub Param 3 Subscriber Parameter 3
af_sub4 Sub Param 4 Subscriber Parameter 4
af_sub5 Sub Param 5 Subscriber Parameter 5
af_r N/A Redirect users to the specified URL for both platforms (Android and iOS)
af_web_dp N/A Redirect desktop users to a different web page than configured in the OneLink template. Use this to keep attribution data of desktop users on other platforms (e.g. Google Analytics or Omniture)
af_dp N/A The path for an internal activity in the app that users are deep linked into. Use this for deep linking and retargeting
af_force_deeplink N/A Force deep linking into the activity specified in af_dp value
af_ref N/A
Ad networks working with S2S clicks can send a unique referrer value using the following parameter: &af_ref=ReferrerValue
 
The af_ref value must consist of a unique value, structured as follows:
NetworkName_UniqueClickValueForEachClick
 
Example: af_ref=networkname_123456789ABCDEF
 
The network name can be any valid string. It can be networkname_int or just networkname.
 
AppsFlyer may use this parameter for attribution in Android devices. AppsFlyer doesn't use this parameter for attribution in iOS or Windows devices.
 
is_incentivized true/false
Incentivized or non-incentivized campaigns
af_param_forwarding When set to false,  parameters that are on the attribution link are not forwarded to the redirected page
Use this for a cleaner looking URL in the redirected page, or if attribution link parameters might cause issues due to query parameter handling on the redirected page

*Depending on the ad type, you can also send the relevant viewability parameter detailing the specifications of the engagement. Below is a list of possible values for “af_ad_type” along with the expected viewability parameters.

Parameter Value format Description
af_video_total_length seconds (e.g. "30") The total possible duration of the video
af_video_played_length seconds (e.g. "2") How much of the video was viewed
af_playable_played_length seconds (e.g. "30") How long the playable element was played once fully loaded
af_ad_time_viewed seconds (e.g. "1") How long the ad unit was visible on the screen
af_ad_displayed_percent % (e.g. "75") The maximum percentage of the ad unit that was visible on the device screen
af_audio_total_length seconds (e.g. "30") The total possible duration of the audio
af_audio_played_length seconds (e.g. "2") How much of the audio was heard

Android specific parameters

Parameter Display Name Description

advertising_id

Advertising ID

Google Advertising ID - Requires ad network support

sha1_advertising_id

N/A

Google Advertising ID hashed with SHA1 - Requires ad network support

android_id

Android ID

Device Android_id - Requires ad network support

sha1_android_id

N/A

Device Android_id hashed with SHA1 - Requires ad network support

af_android_url

N/A

Redirect Android users to a different URL than the app's page on Google Play. Use for out-of- store apps

sha1_el

N/A

Used for desktop to mobile attribution - email hashed with SHA1. Requires ad network support

fire_advertising_id

N/A

Amazon's Fire Advertising ID


iOS Specific Parameters

Parameters Display Name Description

idfa

IDFA

Apple Advertiser ID - should be provided using upper case format. Requires ad network support

af_ios_url

Redirect iOS users to a different URL than the app's page on iTunes

Use this for landing page redirections

af_ios_fallback

N/A

Supply fallback URL for users of iOS 10.3 users

sha1_idfa

N/A

Apple Advertiser ID hashed with SHA1. Requires ad network support

mac

N/A

Device mac address. Requires ad network support

sha1_mac

N/A

Device mac address hashed with SHA1. Requires ad network support

 Example

http://app.appsflyer.com/{app_id}/?pid=airpush_int&c=RedBanner&
af_siteid={publisher_id}&af_sub1=1.5&af_sub2=USD&af_sub3=burst_campaign


All parameters are available in the Installation Report and the Analytics, Reports and APIs.

Why is PID (Publisher ID) the Most Important Parameter?

Among all available attribution link parameters PID stands out as the only parameter that MUST be included in every attribution link.

PID, Publisher ID, is actually the Media Source name. This is the primary field for attributing the install to its source.

Each one of AppsFlyer's Integrated Partners has its own unique PID value, which ends with "_int". When using Custom Attribution Links you can set any PID name you'd like, as long as it's not reserved by integrated partners.

Here are some examples of important integrated publisher IDs: organic, googleadwords_int (Google AdWords), Facebook ads, Twitter. You can use any name for non integrated sources like email, sms or mail pigeons.

Avoid these common pid issues

Consider the following PID rules when using this parameter:

1. Always include PID in your attribution links

Without the PID on the attribution link the user is automatically attributed to a "None" media source and the original installation source is gone.

2. For Custom Sources Use NON-Integrated Partner PIDs
For each integrated source use only the designated PID for correct attribution of its installs. For any custom media source, such as email, SMS or even viral unpaid posts on Facebook use other, non-integrated PID values.
 
3. Use only legal characters
If the PID parameter in the Attribution Link contains one of the following characters ":<>*&?/" - the click/install appears in the dashboard under invalid_media_source_name.

 Tip

Avoid using white spaces in the PID value, or make sure to URL encode your attribution links before using them.

Levels of data granularity

You can use up to four URL parameters to reach deep dive into your ads performance.

Using all 4 parameters on all your active attribution links enables you to:

  • Attribute all user installs and events to specific ads
  • Drill down and compare performance of all your ads per ad set, per campaign and per media source on aggregated reports to optimize on every level
  • Compare all of your ads across all media sources on the raw data reports and Pivot table

The parameters are:

  1. Media source (pid=)
  2. campaign name (c=)
  3. Ad set (af_adset=)
  4. Ad name (af_ad=)

 Example

The following attribution link uses 4 levels of granularity to record the "cashmere" ad in the "coats" ad set in the "winter" campaign running on the integrated "networkx" media source.

http://app.appsflyer.com/com.greatapp?pid=networkx_int&c=winter&
af_adset=coats&af_ad=cashmere

FAQs

Should I use lower or upper case letters for parameters

You can use either but you need to be consistent. If you set a custom parameter with upper or lower case characters, make sure to always use that parameter.

For example, if you set pid=MyMediaSource make sure to always use it. If you use pid=MyMediaSource on one attribution link and pid=mymediasource on another, discrepancies in data might occur. The same goes for any other param that you set on the attribution link.

Is AppsFlyer's attribution link dynamic or static?

AppsFlyer's attribution links are not trackers, and could either be dynamic or static.
How can you tell if a link is dynamic or static?
If the attribution link contains parameters, it's a long pre-defined attribution link, and therefore static.
Only shortened URLs, used for custom attribution links, are dynamic.
This means that once you start using an attribution Link for an integrated partner, or a long URL for owned media, it would not change for any leads engaging with it, even if you change the attribution link values on AppsFlyer's dashboard. For the change to take place, you need to use the new long URL going forward.
On the other hand, shortened URLs for owned media, don't directly contain parameters. When a lead engages with an AppsFlyer's shortened URL, the lead is redirected to AppsFlyer and the current set parameters take place dynamically.

What is this Play Store error message?

If you ever encounter the following error message in the Play Store after following an attribution Link:

TL_error_message.png

This is because the attribution link includes a # character. For example:
https://app.appsflyer.com/com.travelco?pid=globalwide_int&clickid=#reqid#

Usually, these characters are in the link because they are macros, and are dynamically replaced by a value, so it is not a really big problem and you can ignore the message.

What are subscriber parameters good for?

The Subscriber Parameters, i.e. af_sub1 through af_sub5 can be used to record any useful KPIs. These parameters get parsed and appear in the raw data report, which makes them very handy for performing data aggregation or filtering.

 Example

A hail ride app, Luber, has creatives with 3 color templates: blue, yellow and red. Luber's mobile marketer, Linda, wants to test which color template brings in more installs. To do so she adds &af_sub3=blue in the attribution links of all the blue ads across ALL non-SRN media sources. The same is done for the yellow and red ads as well. With this information parsed and appearing in the raw data reports, Linda is able to analyze the success of the different colored ads, and pick the best converting one.

What is the maximum length for a campaign name?

AppsFlyer limits the campaign name length in the attribution link URL to 100 characters. If the character limit is exceeded, the campaign name is changed to the following string: c_name_exceeded_max_length
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