Bulletin: Action required—Apple Search Ads integration

iOS14_updates.png

What's new

Changes to integration and attribution rules for Apple Search Ads, starting with iOS 14.3.

 

 Action required!

Some changes require action on your part:

  • Adopt the most recent version of the AppsFlyer iOS SDK V6.X (6.2.3+), as it contains frameworks required to support Apple Search Ads. Prior versions don't contain the necessary frameworks.
  • If you use Data Locker, enable the keywords_id field.
  • ASA attributes using the rules detailed in this bulletin irrespective of the ATT status. 
Bulletin date

January 6, 2021 updated on April 7, 2021

Effective date
  • February 15, 2021
  • Click Follow in the header of this article to receive important updates about the changes, including the final effective date.
Where Apple Search Ads (ASA) is implementing a number of changes that impact install attribution, population of campaign fields, and required settings for attribution of agencies and ASA marketing partners. 

 

What's changing

ATT based attribution rules apply to all users brought by ASA irrespective of ATT status

Until now, installs brought by ASA without IDFA were recorded as organic installs.

Starting with iOS 14, ATTrackingManager (ATT) governs the availability of IDFA and ASA attributes all installs based on the ATT status detailed in the table as follows:

ATT value

IDFA available

Click time available

Click lookback window

Remarks

Authorized

Yes

Yes

Set by the advertiser

AppsFlyer last-click attribution rules used

Not authorized

No

No

30 days
(set by ASA) 

No click time provided. Priority is given to deterministic candidates. 

Identification of agencies and marketing partners

The ASA Campaign Group Name field, used to identify agencies and marketing partners, is replaced by Campaign Group ID. Note! This is available in the ASA dashboard. 

In most cases on the Effective Date, AppsFlyer made the change for you. However, we weren't able to do so in all cases.

What you need to do: For each Apple Search Ads marketing partner, verify that in the AppsFlyer dashboard that the Apple Search Ads Campaign Group ID is correctly populated.  

To verify and set the Campaign Group ID:

  1. In your Apple Search Ads dashboard: Get the Apple Search Ads Campaign Group ID parameter related to the marketing partner. Use the screenshot that follows as a guide to locating the ID. 

    ASACGroupID.png

  2. In AppsFlyer, go to Configuration > Integrated Partners.
    1. Search for the Apple Search Ads marketing partner.
      The list of marketing partners displays. 
    2. Select a marketing partner.
    3. Verify that the Apple Search Ads Campaign Group ID that you retrieved in the earlier step matches that in the AppsFlyer dashboard. 
    4. If necessary, update the value in the AppsFlyer dashboard. 
    5. If you made a change, click Save.

Network account ID

The network_account_id population is changing for installs that take place starting with the Effective Date: network_account_id (available via raw data) and the associated in-app events are populated with org-id provided by ASA. Until now, this field was populated with org-name.

Note! This change doesn't impact the in-app events of installs that took place before the Effective Date. Meaning, network_account_id continues to be populated by org-name. 

Analytics reports (campaign name)

ASA is deprecating the campaign name field. We'll try to populate it from other sources. In cases where this is not possible, campaign name is populated with campaign ID. 

What's going away

Availability of campaign names and other identifiers

Going forward, some fields are no longer available.
AppsFlyer will try to enrich, on a best-effort basis, the data using the existing ASA API. In case of conflict, the AdServices API available in iOS 14.3+ prevails.

Field

Available going forward?

Campaign name 

Available starting April 7, 2021. You must enable Cost API in the Apple Search Ads integration page. Note! The API is available to all advertisers irrespective of your subscription plan.

Campaign ID

Yes

Adset name

Available starting April 7, 2021. You must enable Cost API in the Apple Search Ads integration page. Note! The API is available to all advertisers irrespective of your subscription plan.

Adset ID

Yes

Ad name

No

Ad ID

Yes

Keywords

Available starting February 16, 2022. You must enable Cost API in the Apple Search Ads integration page. Note! The API is available to all advertisers irrespective of your subscription plan.

Keyword ID

Yes

Keyword Match Type

No

 

Data Locker customers: Starting February 4, 2021, Keyword ID is available via Data Locker.

What's staying the same

Availability of raw data (user level) continues to be available via the data delivery tools like Pull API, Export data, and Data Locker. However,  some data points, listed in the previous table, are deprecated. 

FAQ

Impact of attribution before ATT is mandatory

Q: Will attribution be impacted in the period starting on the Effective Date until Apple enforces ATT? 

A:

  • The current solution continues to operate unchanged and for the present will continue to do so; however, it doesn't attribute users without IDFA (LAT users).
  • The move of users to iOS 14 means that a significant number of users already don't have IDFA and with the enforcement of ATT this will increase further. 

Apple Search Ads and SKAdNetwork

Q: Does ASA support SKAdNetwork. 

A: No. ASA doesn't report installs in the framework of SKAdNetwork. 

 

Cohort dashboard

Q: If I currently get analytics reports using keywords via Cohort what will happen? 

A: Keywords is available if Cost integration is enabled for ASA. Otherwise, AppsFlyer populates the keywords field with the data reported by Keywords ID. Note that Keyword IDs are not mapped to the current keywords. 

 

Campaign names

Q: In analytics dashboards will I still see campaign names? 

A: Yes. We will continue to populate, where possible, the campaign name from other sources. If we can't resolve the campaign name, we will populate campaign name with the campaign ID value. 

 

[Updated July 21, 2021] Reinstall over-counting of users without IDFA (non-consenting)

Q: If a user, without IDFA, installs the app, deletes it, and reinstalls it does AppsFlyer record an additional install to Apple Search Ads.

A: Yes. If the install occurs during the ASA lookback window, ASA claims it as their install. Because the user doesn't have IDFA ASA doesn't report the click time and we don't detect that it is a reinstalling user. 

90__1_.jpg List of what's new in AppsFlyer