What is SKAdNetwork (SKAN)? Understand The Basics

Apple’s new SKAdNetwork 4.0 is changing the game for ads on iOS devices to better protect user privacy. This change alters the mobile marketing field in major ways. As a result, attribution providers like Trackier Mobile Marketing Platform have also stepped up to the challenge of ensuring the collection of precise data analytics without jeopardizing user privacy. In this blog, let’s break down how this revolution has started!

SKAdNetwork 2.0 and 3.0 Limitations:

SKAdNetwork has become key in iOS 14 for mobile ads. It allows good ad tracking while still protecting people’s privacy.

  • Past versions had issues with tracking ads and seeing how they’re doing. This makes it hard to see what users are doing and how ads are working.
  • The limit on how much you can track after a user installs an app makes it hard to get detailed info about user activity.
  • The tracking restrictions made it tough for advertisers to understand how users are behaving and how the ads are doing.
  • These issues led to SKAdNetwork 4.0 being released. It solves these problems and makes it better for measuring ads while still keeping user’s privacy safe.

What Is SKAdNetwork 4.0?

Apple SKAN 4 is a new ad attribution model on iOS that boosts user safety. It betters app download measurement, tracks from app snippets, improves campaign assessment detail, and shares impression data for assessing campaign efficiency. It features a new privacy boundary that limits advertiser interference, further preventing leaks of sensitive information. 

Now, let’s break down its enhancements, changes, and updates:

  • Conversion Value Expansion (CVO): It now broadens from 6 to 8 bits for robust post-download activity tracking.
  • Source App ID Growth: Adds an ID for distinct ad drive attribution, providing marketing knowledge.
  • SKAdNetwork Updates: Syncs API and schema with iOS tweaks for precise ad calculation.
  • Ad Measurement Effect: Boosts exactness in conversion value monitoring and source app ID for meticulous attribution.

How To Use SKAdNetwork 4.0?

Want to make use of SKAdNetwork 4.0? Here’s how:

  • Step 1: Make sure your app’s SDKs are ready for SKAdNetwork 4.0 so you get your data just right.
  • Step 2: To take full advantage of SKAdNetwork 4 features, register your app on the App Store Connect site.
  • Step 3: Boost SKAdNetwork 4.0 potential by showing banner or interstitial ads during short breaks in mobile apps.
  • Step 4: Use the data from SKAdNetwork 4.0 to make your campaign better. It includes mapping conversion values, crafting detailed campaign plans, and optimizing campaigns on the go.
  • Step 5: To get a full report of your ad campaign’s performance, integrate SKAdNetwork 4.0 with tools like mobile measurement partners (MMPs).

Benefits of SKAdNetwork 4.0

Here’s how SKAdNetwork 4.0 can benefit the app developers and users alike:

  • Privacy First: It safeguards user privacy while effectively tracking ad campaigns, thereby keeping up the interests of both parties.
  • Informative Feedback: It provides three engagement periods (0-2, 3-7, and 8-35 days) for valuable insights, helping you make smarter decisions.
  • Flexible Attribution: It enables attribution of both in-app and web ads, giving a complete picture of campaign effectiveness across various channels.
  • Enhanced Campaign Data: It equips advertisers with more data for improved campaign tuning, sharpening targeting, and creative approaches.
  • Campaign Transparency: It presents a distinct campaign identifier for exact attribution, boosting clarity in grasping advertising influence.

Limitations of SKAdNetwork 4.0

  • Provides less data than other tracking methods. This narrows the understanding for both advertisers and app creators.
  • Has an attribution span of 24-48 hours. This might not fully track the lasting effects of ad campaigns on user actions and sales.
  • SKAdNetwork’s privacy-focused model makes tracking each user’s data tough. This limits detailed targeting and specific measurement abilities.
  • Doesn’t report data instantly. This affects the adaptability of ad campaigns and restricts instant changes based on results.
  • Being an Apple-based structure, SKAdNetwork’s operations and improvements depend on Apple’s rules and tech enhancements. This could cause issues for the needs of all advertisers and platforms.

Switching from SKAdNetwork 3 to SKAdNetwork 4.0

Here are the steps for moving from SKAdNetwork 3.0 to 4.0:

Budget Planning:

  • Look at your current ad campaign budget. Make changes to suit SKAdNetwork 4.0.
  • Keep in mind any new rules or changes in ad cost. This is due to the update in attribution and conversion metrics.

Web Partners Chat:

  • Talk to your web partners about the switch from SKAdNetwork 3.0 to 4.0. Share any changes that might affect their integration or reporting practices.
  • Discuss how SKAdNetwork 4.0 impacts web partner attribution and conversion tracking.
  • Make sure web partners are equipped to update their systems and know what the switch means.

Final Thoughts

SKAdNetwork 4.0 alters iOS mobile advertisements, placing user privacy at the forefront. It improves how ads are tracked, however, there’s a downside. The data is limited and reports are slow, making it a huge challenge. Advertisers need to adjust their plans to keep up with this privacy-concerned change.

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