At a glance: View metrics of SKAdNetwork (SKAN) and AppsFlyer attribution frameworks side-by-side in the Overview dashboard. Identify the framework with the best campaign performance metric for you, then leverage it to gain insights and optimize campaigns.
Attribution metrics display side-by-side in the Overview V2.0 dashboard
Finding the best iOS 14+ campaign performance metrics
Starting iOS 14+, both SKAN attribution and AppsFlyer attribution frameworks generate campaign performance metrics. They attribute differently, have different traits and limitations, and discrepancies between them often occur. For example, SKAN doesn't contain metrics of Apple Search Ads campaigns nor that of owned media. Conversely, AppsFlyer metrics from SRNs don't include installs of non-consenting users. Furthermore, SKAN measures performance during an initial post-install window of 1-3 days, whereas AppsFlyer measures lifetime value (LTV).
In side-by-side, you view campaign performance using data provided by both frameworks. Compare the metrics of each framework and decide which metric best represents the actual campaign performance.
If SKAN metrics don't display in the dashboard, you must update the table settings.
The side-by-side view provides insights into campaign metrics. Use it to evaluate campaign performance metrics in terms of:
- How many installs did a campaign bring?
- Why do the SKAN and AppsFlyer metrics differ?
- Effectiveness: How many users converted and what is the ROI?
- Efficiency: What is the campaign eCPI?
This article contains guidance based on our market knowledge and observations on how to interpret the data and gain actionable insights from it. Consider that the marketing landscape of each app is different, and validate our guidance in the context of your app.
- AppsFlyer: New installs and re-attributions
- SKAN: New installs and re-downloads
- Actual: Actual means the metric best representing the data, even though it may not include all data.
- Consenting user: An iOS 14+ user who grants ATT authorization in both the publisher and advertised app.
|Question||How many actual installs are attributed to a campaign?|
Install metrics differ between the frameworks. Each framework counts some of the installs, and there may be overlaps and discrepancies between the frameworks.
In the table, the framework bringing the most installs is highlighted. This is the actual number of installs brought by the campaign.
You can automate the process of establishing which metric is higher by importing the table into a spreadsheet. Use the @max function and conditional formatting to identify the framework reporting the most installs.
Why do the SKAN and AppsFlyer metrics differ?
|Symptom||Install metrics differ.|
How many users converted, and what is the ROI?
Consider whether the AppsFlyer attribution metrics accurately represent the entire user population (including users reported via SKAN). If so, use them to extrapolate campaign effectiveness metrics like ROI and conversion rate metrics.
Use your BI product analysis tool to compare the performance of consenting users to the entire app user population. If the results differ, you must adjust the remedy calculation to account for this.
|Question||What is the actual campaign eCPI?|
|Symptom||Campaign cost-related metrics like eCPI are misleading because they rely on a precise number of users.|
- Contains installs reported by both attribution frameworks
- Use the unified view, in Overview V2.0, to ensure that all available data in the context of a campaign displays, and isn't inadvertently hidden by filtering
- SKAN data is the same as that available via the SKAN dashboard
- To reduce discrepancies due to timing differences between the frameworks, set a date range in the dashboard as follows:
- Duration: Minimum 7 days
- Most recent date:
- 3–5 days before the current date. The range depends on your activity window
- If you run Google Ads campaigns, the earliest date must be 8 days before the current date
Display SKAN metrics in the table
To display SKAN metrics in the table:
- Click ⚙ (table settings).
The metrics selection window opens.
- Click SKAN attribution.
- Click SKAN installs.
- Click SKAN revenue.
- [Optional] To add or remove in-app event:
- Select in-app events.
- Add or remove the required in-app events.
- Click Apply.
The selected metrics and in-app events display.
Available; no limitation
Available; no limitation.
App-specific time zone
|Data freshness||Updates continuously with a latency of up to 60 minutes||
Updates daily by 08:00 UTC.
Latency depends on the duration of the activity window. Default: 2-5 days; in the case of campaigns run by Google Ads campaign—up to 8 days.
|Install date||Date the install occurred||Derived from the postback arrival time. (1)|
|Measurement duration||Unlimited; LTV-based||
Limited to the duration of the activity window of 12-72 hours. Default = 24 hours.
|Attribution lookback window||
(1) Google Ads data updates with a delay of up to 8 days.
Cost, clicks, and impressions
Ad networks provide cost, click, and impression metrics to AppsFlyer which are common to both frameworks. There is no segregation of these metrics by framework.
In the case of cost metrics, the following apply:
- Updates 6 times a day, on average every 4 hours.
- AppsFlyer records the first engagement (click or impression) associated with a campaign; thereafter, the campaign cost associated with the engagement displays.
- Because SKAN installs are reported 72–120 hours after the first app open, expect to see cost metrics some days before they are associated with installs.
- For installs from Google Ads, the delay can be up to 8 days.
Data scope differences
|Ad revenue||Available||Limited; depends on the mediation partner.|
|Apple Search Ads||Available||Not applicable to SKAN attribution|
Not applicable to SKAN attribution
|Web-to-app||Available||Not applicable to SKAN attribution|
Attributed to the media source bringing the install. Agencies can instruct media sources to prefix campaign names with their prt, in which case you can identify agency-driven traffic.
|Campaign name changes||
|Dimensions supported||No limitation||
Available: Geo, ad, ad ID, channel, adset, site ID.
Agency: Not currently.
If you select a dimension that isn't supported, SKAN data is displayed as none.
|SRN install metrics||Limited to consenting users; as a result, expect the AppsFlyer-reported metrics to be lower than SKAN-reported metrics and the metrics provided by the SRN itself.||All SKAN-attributed installs. Usually higher than the AppsFlyer metric.|
|Hidden SKAN campaigns||
The table in the dashboard contains a limited number of rows. The remaining rows are combined in the row designated others.
To view a breakdown of this row, export the entire table to a spreadsheet.