Unbiased, independent, and the future of the ecosystem & web

By Oren Kaniel
unbiased independent ecosystem future - Square

Following a very intense year, packed with uncertainty and change, I’d like to re-share our mission and re-emphasize our commitment to our community. I hope it’ll give you one less thing to worry about, especially during these uncertain times. 

In our industry, it isn’t always clear who is representing whose interests. This mystery initially caught my attention a decade ago and is one of the main reasons we started AppsFlyer. 

Being independent and unbiased is not new to us. They’ve been AppsFlyer’s core principles from the start. We’ve been consistent about our position, officially committing to it back in 2015 and 2018.  Representing the app developers and marketers in this ecosystem is the single most important factor for our success. 

While other companies might have leveraged conflicts of interest to boost revenue, staying independent and unbiased is the foundation of our customer-obsessed culture and the basis of maintaining our customers’, partners’, and the ecosystem’s trust. 

Trust that has enabled $40B+ worth of educated marketing decisions in the last year alone. Trust that has allowed us to deliver innovative privacy-preserving solutions like combining Predictive analytics and SKAdNetwork (PredictSK), SK360, Incrementality, web to app, and privacy-centric aggregated measurement solutions. Solutions that enable the entire ecosystem to focus on providing a great end-user experience and value, while maintaining the highest standards of privacy protection.  

Over the past few weeks, many app developers have been sharing their concerns about the recent consolidation of a media company, an app company, and a measurement platform. They’re concerned because their most trusted partner, who has access to their most intimate asset – their data, instantly became biased, introducing significant risk to their business. I empathize with them. With iOS 14 quickly approaching, this is the last thing they should be concerned with.  

On behalf of the AppsFlyer board of directors, leadership, and employees, I can wholeheartedly guarantee you this will not happen with AppsFlyer. We are committed to staying independent and unbiased forever. We’re in this for the long haul. Making such a move is short-sighted and would completely betray your trust, and the relationship we’ve been building with you for almost 10 years. 

For the last few years, we’ve been using a simple decision-making framework for every decision we make at AppsFlyer:

  1. Is this good for our customers, and their end-users?
  2. Does this make me proud to be part of AppsFlyer?

This framework is essentially the basis of our culture and every decision we make. It guarantees our core principles are always at the heart and soul of every decision we make, as a company or as individual team members. It ensures we consistently maintain your trust with every new decision.

We see ourselves playing a big role guiding the industry into the future. It’s crystal clear to us we’ll only be successful if we uphold your trust and stay true to our core values.

Now is the perfect time to reaffirm our commitment to you.

To our customers:

Independent and unbiased are not just words we push into our sales and marketing materials. They are critical, core parts of our DNA. They enable us to be genuinely customer-obsessed and laser-focused on our ultimate goal of making you more successful. 

In light of recent events, you may want to ask yourself a few questions. Would you give a competitor your paying clients’ contact information? Can your attribution ‘partner’ target your clients with a similar offering? Do they have an app business that competes with yours? Do they have the potential to become a competitor? Are they positioned to help your competitors at your expense? This may sound far fetched, but it is not.

We’re committed to:

  • Remaining independent and unbiased. 
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest, and always representing you, and you alone, in this ecosystem. 
  • Providing you with the leading privacy-preserving software and safeguards to help you maximize your end-users’ privacy. 
  • Protecting your data. We’re a cloud based CRM-like software, where you have full ownership and control over your data. We’ll never sell or exploit your customers’ data, or have any conflict of interest protecting our customers’ data. This is why we don’t have an app business nor sell media. 
  • Making your success our success. 

Thank you for your trust and for letting us protect and safeguard your most important asset – your data. Thank you for working together to overcome significant ecosystem challenges by building great solutions. Thank you for trusting that we’ll stay independent and unbiased. 

To our partners:

Imagine MMP saying the following, “We sell the best media, measure it ourselves, and will also build the best software to enable advertisers to spend their budget with our competitors.” 

You’d probably be confused because the significant conflicting interests are glaringly obvious. We’re committed to: 

  • Remaining unbiased. We won’t enter the media business and compete with our media partners. 
  • Protecting your data and insights. We have zero interest in selling media, building profiles, or building our own apps. 
  • Helping you educate the market about your innovative products.
  • Supporting you in discrepancies analysis and fighting fraud for the ultimate benefit of our customers and partners and industry. 

Thank you for investing in our partnership, valuing transparent measurement, and taking special care of AppsFlyer’s customers. We take great pride in the strong relationships we’ve created over the years, and in the deep technical integrations and products we’ve built to fight fraud, and deliver a great user experience while maximizing users’ privacy. 

To our ecosystem and community:

Having an independent and unbiased platform is critical to ensure that we, as an ecosystem, are constantly innovating to deliver the best end-user experience and preserving users’ privacy. 

When a media company acquires such a platform, we see it as a loss for the industry. Despite this, it’s an exciting time for us to continue paving the way for an unbiased and independent platform like never before. We’re excited and honored to take on this additional responsibility. 

So where do we, and the web, go from here?

What started as an open-web, has evolved over the past decade into a web of walled gardens. While we believe in the freedom, openness and safety of the internet, it is no longer truly open. With that, we have the power and the responsibility to collaborate across the entire ecosystem for the benefit of all of us – the users.  

As users spend time moving between various walled gardens, an industry-wide collaboration is needed to define protocols and APIs to enable a great end-user experience and provide value, as well as preserve privacy.

The fact that AppsFlyer doesn’t own any consumer product, browser, OS, device, app store, ad-network or any media affiliation gives our independent and unbiased positioning a whole new meaning. 

Our neutrality repeatedly placed AppsFlyer as the trusted collaborator and connector between these platforms, OSs, devices, services providers, ad-networks, app developers, websites, app stores, and the entire ecosystem as a whole. iOS 14 took these discussions to a whole new level, and we take this responsibility very seriously. We know that if we consistently work with the end user in mind, we’ll be ahead of trends and positioned to create a better future for everyone. 

I’m so proud to see more than 1,000 AppsFlyer employees waking up every single day and working towards this mission. I feel lucky to lead a company whose purpose and vision go far beyond making money; a company that knows the value of placing revenue secondary and the end-users, app developers, and ecosystem first.  

Our goal at AppsFlyer is pretty simple; to stand before each of you in five, ten, 20 years from now, and know that at every step of the way, we did the right thing for the entire ecosystem and most importantly, the end-user. 

Oren Kaniel signature

Oren Kaniel

Oren Kaniel is co-founder and CEO of AppsFlyer. He loves everything mobile and is a creative thinker, listener, talker, and is trying to be a blogger. Oren holds a BA in Computer Science, Cum Laude, from the Technion, and an MBA from IDC, as part of an exchange with the Wharton Business School.

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