Preload (presinstall) attribution using Google Play Auto Install

At a glance: Use Google Play Auto Install (PAI) for your campaigns to attribute preinstalled apps on Android devices.

Note: This attribution method differs from APK preload attribution.  

What is a preinstall campaign?

In preinstall campaigns, Original Device Manufacturers (OEMs) and mobile carriers ("Preinstall Partners"), preinstall apps on devices before they reach the user. This can be done by the OEM at the factory or by providers upon first device activation.

Preinstall campaigns allow advertisers to reach a potentially large audience without running online campaigns.

AppsFlyer supports the following preinstall campaign types:

  • APK preinstall attribution relies on a dedicated APK installed by the OEM in the factory.
  • Google Play Auto Install (PAI) is described in this article.

PAI preinstall attribution flow

When a new device is activated for the first time predefined apps are automatically installed in it from the cloud - according to rules set by the Preinstall Partner.

When the user launches a preinstalled app for the first time, the AppsFlyer SDK queries the Google Play referrer API. AppsFlyer makes the attribution decision based on the data retrieved.

Installs attributed to Preinstall Partners are attributed as follows:

  • Media_source = Partner ID
  • Match_type = preinstall
  • Campaign_name = Preinstall campaign by <preInstall partner ID>

Note that agencies can't enable preinstall campaigns for their clients.


Additional rules for PAI preinstall attribution

Attribution is decided by the following factors:

  • Preinstall Measurement is on in the Preinstall Partner's Integration tab.
  • App launch was performed within the preinstall attribution lookback window set in the Integration tab.
  • Preinstall takes precedence over other attribution methods after considering the duration of the Preinstall lookback window.

Enabling PAI preinstall attribution

To enable PAI preinstall attribution for a specific partner:

  1. Go to the relevant partner's page in Configuration > Integrated Partners.
  2. Turn Preinstall attribution on.
  3. Define the required Preinstall lookback window. This window can be 1-180 days or lifetime.
  4. Click Save Integration.


Postbacks for preinstall partners

As part of their integration with AppsFlyer, preinstall partners define the content and endpoints of postbacks sent to them by AppsFlyer.

When included in a postback, macros are replaced with user-relevant data. Supported macros are listed in the following table:

  • Source: Indicates where the data originates from:
    • SDK: AppsFlyer SDK embedded in the app or server-to-server API
    • AF: After processing by AppsFlyer
Postback macros for Preinstall Partners
Postback marco (name) Source Description
app_name SDK App name set by the advertiser
country_code AppsFlyer Country Code using ISO 3166 (alpha-2) Example: US, CN.
install_time SDK Install timestamp
language SDK Language (locale) reported by the device and set by the device OS.
app_id SDK Unique app identifier in Appsflyer
app_version SDK App version set by the app developer in the app code
device_type SDK The commercial model name of the device. Example: SM-GM284 or iPhone7
os_version SDK Device operating system version

Preinstall postback example

Preinstall Partners

The following Preinstall Partners are supported by AppsFlyer for Google PAI measurement:

  • Xiaomi (xiaomipai_int
  • Transsion (shalltrypai_int
  • Oppo (oppopaipreinstall_int
  • Vivo (vivootapreload_int)
  • TCL (tclpai_int
  • Motorola (motorola_int
  • MITV (mitvpai_int)
  • ZTE (ztepai_int)
  • Lenovotab (lenovotabpai4p_int)
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