What is a self-attributing network (SAN)?
A SAN, or self-attributing network, is an ad network that attributes its traffic without third-party mobile measurement partners. Examples of SANs are Facebook, Snapchat, Google, and Twitter.
A SAN differs from a regular ad network in that regular ad networks report user activity (clicks) prior to install (typically both last-touch activity and activity prior to last-touch), while SANs do not report each click to attribution providers. Rather, SANs report user activity to attribution providers via API. When an attribution provider like Branch is notified of an install occurring, the provider asks the SAN the device ID information of that install. The SAN then reports back to the attribution provider the relevant details of the activity associated with that ID. With the IDFA irrelevant in iOS 14, device IDs will no longer be able to be used in SAN reporting and MMP integration, so all SANS will need to change how they support attribution.