Install Tracking (Attribution) by Apple and Google

For many of you, using marketing links to track your installs (user acquisition) is something you do using attribution platforms like AppsFlyer, Kochava, etc… but did you know that over the years, Apple and Google have both created a way for us to be able to track our own marketing campaigns (attribution) directly?

Here’s what I’ve found so far.

For iOS, go to App Store Connect -> App Analytics -> Choose the App -> Acquisition -> Campaigns. If you go into the desired app, you’ll see campaigns here. What’s great is that Apple tracks Downloads and Proceeds (money) and more. The key for this to work is that you must first setup the Campaign by clicking the + sign, and enter the name of the campaign. As you will see, Apple will then generate a campaign link you can use anywhere. It will look something like this:

For Google Play (Android), go in the Google Play Console -> Grow - Store performance -> Conversion Analysis, you can then choose to View by UTM campaign. Right now, there are 3 choices, “All UTM source, No UTM source specified, and Other” - so, although Google is tracking it, I haven’t found a way in Google Play Console to get the utm_campaign break down. However, I have emailed Google with this, and I’ll search in Firebase and Google Analytics, and report my findings, because I have to believe the break down can be found.

For this to work, all you need to do is create a link like this:

The values for source, medium and campaign can be anything. Google does not require that you create a campaign in advance, as required for iOS in App Store Connect.

If anyone has anything else to add to this, please do.

I can now confirm that, directly from Google, they will not give us access to the utm_source or other variables added to our Google Play store link, and accordingly, they do not offer developers any ability to handle it’s own attribution, as does Apple as explained above.