At a glance: Display metrics of SKAdNetwork (SKAN) and AppsFlyer attribution frameworks side-by-side in the Overview V2.0 dashboard. Identify the framework having the most suited campaign performance metric, 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
Staring iOS 14.5, campaign performance metrics are generated by both SKAN and AppsFlyer attribution frameworks. The frameworks each have their own traits and limitations, which impact the total reported metrics and cause discrepancies. For example, SKAN doesn't contain metrics of Apple Search Ads campaigns. 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 (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.
What campaign insights can you find in the side-by-side view?
- How many actual installs can be attributed to a campaign?
- 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; 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 that best represents 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 can be attributed to a campaign?|
Install metrics differ between the frameworks. Each framework counts some of the installs, and there can 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.|
The AppsFlyer framework determines installs according to the AppsFlyer attribution model covering different campaign types and attribution methods. But SKAN measures installs in the context of paid app-to-app campaigns.
Typically, SKAN metrics of SRN campaign installs are higher than those of AppsFlyer, because AppsFlyer only records consenting users.
In the case of non-SRN networks (click networks), there is often a much closer alignment between the metrics per framework.
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.
To determine the number of users that converted:
To calculate campaign revenue:
Campaign revenue calculation:
Use your BI product analysis tool to compare the performance of all 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 SKAN and AppsFlyer 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 hidden inadvertently 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 as follows:
- Duration: Minimum 7 days
- Most recent date: 3–5 or 8 days before the current date. The range depends on your activity window and if you run campaigns on Google Ads.
Available; no limitation
Available; no limitation.
App-specific time zone
|Data freshness||Updates continuously||Daily. Dashboard updates daily by 08:00 UTC.|
|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 by framework of these metrics.
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
|Data freshness rate||Up to 70 minutes||Depends on the duration of the activity window. Default: 2-5 days; in the case of Google Ads campaigns up to 8 days.|
|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 prn, 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.