Get More from SKAdNetwork with Branch

Note: As of January 28th, 2021, Apple has changed its policies regarding attribution on iOS 14. Read about that update and Branch’s latest stance here. To learn about how to set up SKAdNetwork for your Branch app, please visit our SKAdNetwork setup guide.

Branch believes that privacy-first, device-level data is the best option for the mobile industry, and we are committed to maintaining these insights for our customers. We’re working closely with all of our ad network partners to enable full support for our Predictive Modeling engine, and we will continue to provide device-level data via our non-ads products such as Journeys, Universal Email, and Quick Links.

We also recognize that SKAdNetwork is now an important part of the paid acquisition landscape, and providing succinct solutions that work within Apple’s framework is one of our critical focus areas. Our new SKAdNetwork support will fill an important piece of the attribution puzzle, and help get you the data you need to understand the full impact of your campaigns — and your user’s journeys.

There are three main areas that we’re working on to support SKAdNetwork:

  1. SDK updates to send install & conversion claims  
  2. Aggregation and validation of Apple postbacks
  3. Dashboard support for SKAdNetwork data 

Here’s how each part of the solution works:

1. SDK Updates to Send Install & Conversion Claims

We’re currently updating our SDK to support automatically sending install and conversion notifications to Apple for SKAdNetwork; specifically registerAppForAdNetworkAttribution() and updateConversionValue(0-63). As a result, the only work needed from you to enable SKAdNetwork is updating to the new version of the Branch SDK. 

We’re also planning to provide tools to help you get the most use of the Conversion Value feature in SKAdNetwork. For example, in the Branch dashboard, you will be able to select conversion events and rank them in order of importance from 0-63 to send to Apple for claims, as shown in the image below. This will also allow you to connect SKAdNetwork conversion events to a Branch event, so that the numerical value Apple sends back is more clearly defined and corresponds to an event within the Branch system.

Choose, rank, and connect your conversion values to Branch events in the dashboard.

If you are using a S2S integration with Branch, or want to call registerAppForAdNetworkAttribution() and updateConversionValue(0-63) either natively or with another SDK, we’ll still be able to map conversion values being sent on our dashboard. We’ll be adding an opt-in on the dashboard to avoid multiple SDKs making the same calls. 

2. Aggregation and Validation of Apple Postbacks from Ad Networks

To protect against fraud and add a level of trust to SKAdNetwork data, we will verify Apple postbacks from ad networks. An Apple-provided cryptographic signature will be used to validate that postbacks forwarded to us by ad networks contain only the original data from Apple, and that ad networks are not reporting fraudulent conversions. We will then aggregate the data sent by ad networks and display it on the dashboard in our own analytics section for a convenient one-stop shop for all your data.

3. Dashboard Support for SKAdNetwork Data 

We will be updating the Branch dashboard to accommodate SKAdNetwork data. This provides one centralized place for you to view SKAdNetwork attribution data, instead of having to log in to separate ad network dashboards. 

This update will include a new Ads Analytics dashboard dedicated to just SKAdNetwork data, separate from existing user-level data from Branch. In this new dashboard, you’ll be able to:

  • View the total number of installs reported by SKAdNetwork 
  • View the total number of “Conversion Events” reported by SKAdNetwork 
  • Filter installs/conversions by: 
    • Ad Network 
    • Campaign IDs
    • Source App

Filtering installs/conversions by ad network in the dashboard. 

Next Steps

We’re currently working with our ad network partners to set up their integrations with our new SKAdNetwork dashboard. Additionally, we’ll be providing additional information about the required SDK update to customers soon, and publishing updated documentation on our help center. 

With our support for SKAdNetwork, we hope to improve clarity and reliability when it comes to attribution. This is a new paradigm for the mobile industry, and we will continue to build out our SKAdNetwork functionality as we learn more from our customers about what they need in this new world.