SKAdNetwork is a privacy-centric API that was designed to help App Store advertisers measure ad performance while limiting their access to users' private information.

What is SKAdNetwork?

Apple’s StoreKit Ad Network, better known as SKAdNetwork, is a privacy-centric API that was designed to help App Store advertisers measure ad performance, while limiting their access to users’ private information. It was first released in 2018.

For SKAdNetwork to work, three things have to happen:

  1. Ad networks need to register with Apple; then sign their ads the right way.
  2. Publishing apps need to signal to the OS when a relevant ad click takes place.
  3. Advertised apps need to signal to the OS when they’re opened and grade each engagement for quality.

With these three things in place, App Store advertisers will have access to the data they need to run successful ad campaigns, and users won’t have to worry about the safety of their data. 

Why is SKAdNetwork Important?

SKAdNetwork allows advertisers to run data-driven marketing campaigns in the Apple App Store. When used, advertisers should be able to tell exactly what’s working and what isn’t. They can then adjust their campaigns accordingly to achieve better results.

SKAdNetwork gives advertisers this ability without forcing App Store users to surrender private information, making the App Store a safer, more secure place.

We should say, SKAdNetwork is NOT mandatory. But due to App Tracking Transparency (ATT), a privacy policy that Apple introduced in April 2021, it’s becoming more prevalent.

ATT requires apps to receive explicit consent from a user before collecting his or her IDFA, a device identifier that was widely used by ad networks to help advertisers target their ads. Now that IDFAs are less effective in the Apple App store, SKAdNetwork is set to explode.

Related Terms

  • Apple’s Custom Product Pages
    What are Apple’s Custom Product Pages? Get the full definition and learn more about the new iOS 15 feature.
  • Apple’s Product Page Optimization (PPO)
    Apple's new feature, coming with iOS 15 in the fall of 2021, will allow developers to test their default App Store Product Page with three different variations and against the control.
  • App Store Creatives
    App store creatives are all the visual elements that appear on an App Store or Google Play product page.

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