What App Developers Need to Know about Apple’s App Tracking Transparency

By David Lundell, Head of Product Management, Flurry Analytics

Q: What is App Tracking Transparency?

Apple will soon implement new privacy protocols that require app developers to obtain authorization to track users across apps and websites owned by other companies. If your app collects data about end users and shares that data with other companies, you must present a tracking authorization prompt. 

Q. Can I still use Flurry Analytics once Apple launches App Tracking Transparency?

Yes! Apple has indicated that first party analytics providers are not subject to required tracking opt-in. Flurry does not rely on the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), fingerprinting or other device IDs which would require end-user opt-in. Flurry leverages the Identifier for Vendors (IDFV) for first-party analytics, an Apple approved use. 

Q: Do I need to present a tracking prompt to my users because my app includes the Flurry SDK?

No. Invoking the opt-in prompt in iOS 14 is completely up to you. You decide when to prompt for authorization - or even whether to invoke the prompt at all. Your analytics from Flurry won’t be impacted by whether you display the prompt for opt-in authorization. 

Q. Will Flurry only provide analytics for users that opt in?

No. Flurry provides analytics reporting on all of your users regardless of opt-in state.

Q: When will Apple launch App Tracking Transparency?

Starting with the beta versions of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, developers will be required to ask users for their permission to track them. We are still waiting for Apple to announce when these will be widely released, but industry insiders predict sometime in March. 

Q: What do I need to do on my app’s product page in the App Store?

Developers that work with Flurry need to acknowledge and detail the Data Use around each type of data Flurry collects. As a Flurry Analytics customer, you MUST select the following Data Types as they are collected by Flurry Analytics: Device ID, Product Interaction, Other Usage Data. Optionally,  if you use Flurry Crash Analytics, you must select the following Data Types: Crash Data, Performance Data. If you use Flurry Revenue Analytics, you must select the following: Purchases.

Please see this blog post for detailed steps to update your app’s data collection practices as they relate to Flurry Analytics. The information we are providing is only relevant to your use of Flurry Analytics. Based on your own app’s data collection practices or those of other third-parties you work with, you may need to select additional data types.

Q: Do I need to upgrade to Flurry’s latest SDK to be compliant with Apple’s App Tracking Transparency?

No. Flurry customers will continue to receive the same data and services from Flurry Analytics regardless of SDK version. We recommend minimum Android Flurry SDK v.12.0.0 and minimum iOS Flurry SDK v10.0.0.

To take advantage of Flurry’s Conversion Value analytics, upgrade to the latest version of the Flurry SDK. For more information on how to use Conversion Value to measure post-install campaign campaign effectiveness and LTV, please see this blog post.

Q: Does Flurry respect end user App Tracking Transparency authorization (i.e. user tracking opt-in)?

Flurry will respect Apple’s policy requirement to not combine data across apps and websites owned by other companies in cases where end users have not provided affirmative consent to tracking. In other words, Flurry doesn’t track unless the app obtains tracking consent.

Q: What does ATT mean for me as an app publisher who relies on advertising revenue?

Today, Ad Networks and Demand Side Platforms use the IDFA to reach target audiences. When the IDFA becomes largely unavailable, advertisers will have fewer tools for targeting and attribution. As a result, ad spending will likely drop, leading to lower CPMs and fill for application publishers. For more details on how ATT will likely impact app developers who rely on advertising revenue - and for how Flurry can help - please read our blog post.

Q: What does ATT mean for me as an app publisher who relies on advertising to drive user acquisition?

In the pre-iOS 14 world, Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) used IDFAs to provide app install campaign performance insights. With freely collected IDFAs, advertisers could learn which app showed an ad, the specific campaign and creative used to drive an install, and even actions taken by end users after downloading an advertised app. As we enter a new era in which the majority of IDFAs will no longer be available, this traditional mobile attribution model will be impacted. To address the gap it is creating for MMPs, Apple has improved its own SKAdnetwork framework. To learn more about how Flurry can help you leverage SKAdnetwork, please read our blog post here.

Q: What is SKAdnetwork?

SKAdnetwork is Apple’s solution to attribution challenges, including those introduced by the App Tracking Transparency framework. SKAdnetwork helps advertising apps and ad networks connect their campaigns to installs. For end users that have not opted into tracking, SKAdnetwork metadata is the only way for apps to measure campaign impact on installs.

Q: What is SKAdnetwork Conversion Value?

For end users that have not opted into tracking, Conversion Value is the only indicator beyond the install event to gauge the quality of the install. Conversion Value is a six bit value set by the app after users launch a new app for the first time. Apps can update the conversion value within 24 hours. Updating the value automatically resets a 24-hour timer, which postpones the SKAdnetwork postback to ad networks. With up to 64 different values and a limited time in which to set those values, apps will need to be smart about using Conversion Value to effectively describe and predict the user’s expected lifetime value. No matter how you choose to set your Conversion Value, Flurry can help you better understand lifetime value by automatically setting the Conversion Value as a Standard User Property. Please see this blog post for details. 

Flurry is here to help navigate app developers through this disruption of traditional app business models. Please contact us at support@flurry.com if you have any questions.