How can I attribute app installs on iOS14?

What is iOS14’s App Tracking Transparency Feature?

Effective Q1 2021, Apple has changed the ability of platforms (such as Outbrain) to track app installs driven from in-app advertising campaigns.

Apple’s iOS 14 update will give users the ability to opt out of app tracking by disallowing usage of IDFA to identify devices. IDFA is a unique identifier tied to an end user’s mobile device. Previously, IDFA was the primary method used by platforms and apps to track app installs.  Apple iOS 14 will no longer allow blanket usage of IDFA for such purposes, and will default devices to limit ad tracking.

It’s important to note that this change only affects app installs driven from in-app environments (e.g., an app install campaign running on the CNN app will be affected). However, the vast majority of Outbrain traffic for app install campaigns comes from our mobile web properties, which are unaffected by this change. You will be able to attribute app installs driven by mobile web properties in the same manner as usual.

We predict that about 20% of consumers will opt in to sharing their IDFAs with apps. For these 20% of consumers, Outbrain and third-party MMPs (e.g., AppsFlyer) can continue to attribute app installs from in-app marketing campaigns as they always have. However, and most importantly, Outbrain and all other platforms need to adopt solutions to identify the 80% of Apple device users expected to opt out. Read more about iOS 14 here.


What Preparations has Outbrain Made?

Outbrain fully supports the SKAdNetwork, Apple’s sandbox solution for tracking app installs and activity in a privacy-safe manner under iOS14. These columns for conversions driven by environments on iOS14 appear directly within the Amplify Dashboard’s reporting screen.

Here’s a breakdown of the reporting columns available utilizing the SKAdNetwork:

appleSKAdNetworkConversions The total number of conversions determined by Apple to be attributed to Outbrain.
appleSKAdNetworkRedownload0 The number of conversions that are first time downloads as determined by Apple.
appleSKAdNetworkRedownload1 The number of conversions that are redownloads, as determined by Apple.
appleSKAdNetworkConversionValue Aggregate of the value passed for all conversions as determined by Apple.
appleSKAdNetworkConversionAverageValue   The average of the conversion value passed from Apple.


Outbrain is also working with each of our Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) — Appsflyer, Adjust, Branch, Kochava, and Singular — to support their respective solutions and SKAdNetwork compatibility. You will be able to utilize each of these partners through the typical process to attribute iOS14 conversions moving forward. Read more about tracking in-app events with MMPs in this Help Center article. We also have a dedicated article for each of our MMP partners, which can all be found within the Help Center by simply searching for the MMP by name.

You can also view Outbrain’s recent blog post on our participation in the SKAdNetwork here, as well as Apple’s SKAdNetwork documentation (including metrics and trackable events) here.

Need Further Help?

Speak to an Outbrain expert

Contact Us