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SKAdNetwork postbacks: A welcome update for advertisers

By Roy Yanai
skadnetwork postbacks update - square

In yesterday’s WWDC 2021, Apple announced several more privacy updates for iOS, including a key update to SKAdNetwork that allows advertisers to receive a copy of postbacks for “winning” app installs.

Until now, postbacks were sent only to the ad networks, and then forwarded to the advertiser or MMP on the advertiser’s behalf.

Updated SKAdNetwork flow

While this update could have easily gone under the radar, it’s a critical step in the right direction for SKAdNetwork: it addresses and partially solves privacy as well as business issues in regards to data ownership around app installs and post install events. 

The ecosystem has been advocating for this change for some time, and it was one of our key concerns back when SKAdNetwork was reintroduced last year.

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The advertisers want to own their data

Back in late December of last year, we ran a poll among our customers asking who they feel should receive the postback from SKAdNetwork. The results were conclusive – advertisers strongly felt they (or the MMP on their behalf) should be receiving SKAdNetwork postbacks.

We’ve spent the last year innovating on privacy to give our customers even more control over their data, how it is shared and with whom. This new announcement from Apple is a welcomed one indeed, and helps give advertisers the ownership they deserve of their critical data.

Apple has released a steady cadence of improvements since relaunching SKAdNetwork last June, and we look forward to the additional upgrades that are certain to come.

Prepare for iOS 15 with AppsFlyer

The postback copy will be supported in iOS 15, which is already in beta. We recommend advertisers get started with testing this capability, so that they’re prepared once iOS 15 is publicly available.

AppsFlyer’s SK360 solution gives advertisers the ability to manage their SKAdNetwork attribution alongside AppsFlyer’s traditional attribution.

Advertisers can now add the new endpoint https://www.appsflyer-skadnetwork.com to their app’s property list editor for AppsFlyer to manage SKAdNetwork. 

What AppsFlyer does for iOS advertisers:

  1. Provides full flexibility for designing, testing, managing and optimizing their conversion value logic
  2. Validates the postbacks against those reported by the ad network
  3. Connects ad network campaign name, ad set name, and ad name to the SKAdNetwork-reported campaign
  4. Connects pre-install campaign data such as cost, clicks and impressions
  5. Provides the data in SKAdNetwork dashboard as well as SKAdNetwork APIs
  6. Prevents and blocks SKAdNetwork fraud 

Coming soon: SKAdNetwork postback real-time testing dashboard

AppsFlyer will soon be releasing a new real-time testing environment and dashboard to be used with a test profile (or even production data, if you so choose).

SKAdNetwork postback testing

This environment will allow advertisers to see the SKAdNetwork postbacks that arrived from the end user’s device to the AppsFlyer endpoint (log-level data). 

Stay tuned!

Roy Yanai

Roy Yanai is a Head of Product at AppsFlyer. In the past 4 years, Roy led different product areas within AppsFlyer including Data Exchange and Analytics. Currently, Roy leads the product efforts of AppsFlyer’s SKAdNetwork task force. Prior to AppsFlyer, Roy served as CEO & Head of Product at Mego - a startup aimed to solve eCommerce deliveries pains and founded HackIDC - Israel’s largest Hackathon.

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