Unlocking complete measurement on iOS: TikTok and AppsFlyer’s Advanced SRN integration

By Shay Maoz & Kevin Mackenzie (Guest author)
Unlocking complete measurement on iOS: Tiktok and AppsFlyers advance SRN integration - OG image

In the latest edition of the AppsFlyer Performance Index, the industry’s definitive ranking of mobile media sources, TikTok achieved Top 10 rankings across multiple categories — a strong indicator of its impressive growth as an ad network

As TikTok continues to gain traction as an advertising platform, it has partnered with AppsFlyer to develop an advanced self-reporting (SRN, also known as self-attributing network or SAN by TikTok) integration that maximizes measurement accuracy while preserving user privacy. But what exactly does this mean for you as an advertiser? All the answers lie ahead. 

SRN challenges in the post-iOS 14.5 era

As a result of TikTok’s significant growth that is only projected to continue, AppsFlyer and TikTok came together to enhance their integration, with the goal of providing advertisers with better measurement accuracy and more visibility into TikTok’s true contribution to campaign outcomes. This upgrade involved moving from a click network integration to an SRN integration, which sends attribution data to AppsFlyer via a dedicated API. 

But, while an SRN integration has its advantages, recent changes in the mobile measurement ecosystem have presented challenges for advertisers and ad networks alike, particularly when it comes to attribution for iOS apps. Following the introduction of iOS 14.5, advertisers are required to obtain user consent to access Apple’s advertising ID (IDFA) under the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework. As a result, the availability of IDFA for iOS apps has decreased to 27% of all mobile app launches, creating new challenges to ensure accurate attribution. 

While SKAN offers a good alternative for aggregate app measurement, it still lacks when it comes to data freshness, campaign breakdown, and optimization capabilities. So, how can TikTok and AppsFlyer help advertisers effectively measure their iOS campaigns in the post-ATT era? The answer is through an Advanced SRN integration.  

Advanced SRN: complete measurement, complete privacy 

Understanding the challenges of becoming an SRN in the iOS 14.5 landscape, the teams at AppsFlyer and TikTok joined forces to design a solution that allows advertisers to attribute installs to TikTok and fully measure LTV in a privacy-preserving manner, for all types of users. 

As a result of close collaboration between the AppsFlyer and TikTok teams, the first-to-market Advanced SRN integration was born. At a high level, it involves two methods of attribution:

  1. Dual-consented users will continue to be attributed via the standard SRN integration, where AppsFlyer sends a launch to TikTok, and TikTok responds with attribution details.
  2. Non-dual consented users will be attributed based on ad exposures that TikTok sends to AppsFlyer in a privacy-compliant manner, similar to how a click network operates.

In both cases, advertisers can share the attribution results from the Advanced SRN integration with TikTok in a privacy-preserving manner, in accordance with their chosen privacy settings in the AppsFlyer platform.

The powerful new integration ensures that advertisers benefit from complete campaign performance measurement that safeguards their data, providing: 

  • Complete performance measurement: Advertisers benefit from complete measurement for TikTok campaigns on iOS based on AppsFlyer attribution, with all campaign details in real-time and full LTV measurement on AppsFlyer reporting.  
  • Advanced attribution metrics: Advertisers get access to enriched engagement types, such as engaged views and engaged clicks, with full control over lookback window configuration for each engagement type in AppsFlyer and on TikTok Ads Manager, including for Engaged View-Through Attribution (EVTA), a new touch-point based on six-second video views on TikTok.
  • Improved campaign performance: Stronger signals benefit campaign learnings, improve overall delivery, and provide better optimization performance over time.

The advanced SRN integration allows TikTok and advertisers to maintain attribution coverage and accuracy when working with AppsFlyer while overcoming the challenges that come with being a self-reporting network and ensuring user privacy remains protected. Working on innovative solutions with partners like TikTok is what keeps AppsFlyer a reliable and accurate attribution source across all geographies and industries

 Tal Inbar, Director of Product, AppsFlyer

Advanced SRN Success story: Cleo AI 

While that sounds great in theory, transitioning to the Advanced SRN integration model translated into real-life gains for advertisers like Cleo AI. 

The AI-powered financial assistant app was looking to optimize the impact of its TikTok campaigns and gain comprehensive insights into the factors driving app installs. After switching to the Advanced SRN integration, Cleo AI saw a more accurate picture of what was driving results and the actual contribution of TikTok app campaigns, observing a 34% increase in conversion rate and a 46% reduction in cost per action. The Advanced SRN integration helped Cleo AI gain a more precise understanding of TikTok’s impact on their business, allowing them to measure all the touchpoints that contribute to conversions. 

Advance SRN example - Cleo AI increased CPA by 46%

How do I activate the Advanced SRN integration?  

The legacy integration is slated to be deprecated by TikTok in March 2024, so the time to switch is now. To facilitate a gradual and smooth migration, AppsFlyer and TikTok have collaborated to design a simple process that maintains data consistency and accuracy.

Here’s how it works: 

Steps to implement advanced SRN integration

The process includes a period of thorough data verification by TikTok to ensure that migrating to the new integration does not result in any attribution data loss. Once all the data is verified, TikTok and AppsFlyer complete the transition and the Advanced SRN integration is fully operational. AppsFlyer begins to attribute installs and events to the Advanced SRN, and advertisers can switch off cost on the legacy integration and start using the new integration for cost, clicks, impressions, and conversions. 

For more information, including a detailed, step-by-step walkthrough of how to enable the new integration and additional best practices to ensure a smooth setup, check out this transition guide. You can also watch this on-demand webinar co-hosted by TikTok and AppsFlyer, which features a demo and answers to common questions.

Redefining the measurement standard

The first-to-market Advanced SRN integration between AppsFlyer and TikTok provides advertisers with the most robust and accurate attribution solution for mobile apps while ensuring user privacy remains protected.

And the innovation doesn’t stop there. AppsFlyer, TikTok, and other leading ad networks have recently announced the establishment of a new measurement framework that accounts for additional engagement types, beyond views and clicks. This initiative, coupled with the Advanced SRN integration, will empower advertisers with an enhanced attribution methodology that provides a more complete picture of how users are converting. 

Better measurement leads to improved signals for ad networks, resulting in more relevant ads, which in turn enhances ROAS and informs better decision-making — a win-win scenario for advertisers, ad networks, and users alike. 

Shay Maoz

Shay Maoz is a senior product manager - Attribution at AppsFlyer. Over the past 2 years, Shay is leading different product areas within AppsFlyer attribution suite, including Website attribution, Integrations with leading self reporting networks (Google, Meta, TikTok, Snapchat etc) and Web3.0 product partnerships. Prior to AppsFlyer, Shay worked as a product manager at Skai (FKA Kenshoo) - a campaign management SAAS product helping the largest advertisers in the world to launch and optimize campaigns across all leading ad networks.

Follow Shay Maoz

Kevin Mackenzie

Kevin is the lead PM for App Measurement at TikTok. Over the last few years, Kevin has focused on a variety of different products, including signal collection tools, attribution, analytics, and privacy measurement solutions.

Ready to start making good choices?