Branch Attribution Logic & Settings
To accurately measure and attribute interactions (installs and in-app events) that users take with your app, Branch uses several different types of attribution. The attribution method Branch applies depends on a combination of factors, like platform/app store, engagement type, and conversion type. Branch’s attribution methods are “stack-ranked” to ensure the highest level of accuracy.
- Clicks take precedence over impressions.
- Methods using deterministic 1:1 attribution (via unique identifiers/IDs) take precedence over methods using probabilistic (not 1:1) attribution, such as device fingerprint matching.
- By ensuring Branch receives the necessary information (i.e. unique identifiers) to implement deterministic click attribution, we ensure not only accurate attribution for our clients but give the appropriate level of priority to all incoming clicks/impressions.
Attribution Methods in Order of Operation¶
1. Deterministic Click Attribution
- Google Play Install Referrer
- Identifier Matching when an identifier is provided on click, fingerprint matching will not be used as a fallback
- Google Advertising Identifier (GAID)
- Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA)
- Open URL (deep link) with Click ID
2. Probabilistic Click Attribution
- Fingerprint Matching
3. Deterministic View Attribution
- Identifier Matching Only
An attribution window simply defines the window of time for when an eligible attribution or deep link can occur. Attribution windows enable you to control when events should be attributed, when deep links should occur, and when an event should be classified as a re-engagement for cohort analysis. You can define your window of time for as little as 0.001 of a day or as long as 90 days.
To access your attribution settings, navigate to the Link Settings page, and click on the Attribution Windows tab.
Default Attribution Window Settings¶
Each attribution window has its own default measured in days. Please refer to the image below for these defaults.
Click to xrefers to events - session start/install/conversion event - that occur after someone clicks a Branch link. If someone clicks and installs from a link, and comes back 10 days later to purchase, we would count that as a conversion, and it would surface in our dashboard. Measured in days. Impression to xrefers to events - session start/install/conversion event - that occur after someone views a Branch impression link. Measured in days. Deep Linking Durationrefers to the duration of time someone is eligible to receive deep link data. This includes anyone clicking a Branch link, or being automatically redirected to the app through a Branch Web SDK call. Measured in minutes. Note: This setting also covers the maximum length of time allowed for fingerprint matching. Hence changing this value will also change the length of time allowed to use a fingerprint for attribution.
Re-engagement Inactivitydefines the period between two events that a user must be inactive in order to define the later event as a re-engagement. Used in re-engagement cohort analysis but not activity analysis.
Changing Attribution Window Settings
Once you change an attribution window setting, please allow up to several minutes for the change to persist through our system. New attribution window settings will apply to future attributions only.
Org-level vs. App-level vs. Ad Network-level Settings¶
Your default attribution window settings - as described above - can be applied at the org-level, app-level and partner-level of your account.
Each level of attribution settings can exist independently from one another, but you can also choose to inherit (or disinherit) the attribution window settings from a parent level.
Inheriting Attribution Window Settings from the Org Level¶
If your account includes an organization level, you can choose to inherit (or not) its attribution window settings for each individual app in your organization.
To access app-level attribution window settings, navigate to Link Settings, click on the
Disinheriting Attribution Window Settings from the App Level¶
You can override the app-level attribution window defaults on a per ad partner basis by enabling the use of Ad Partner Attribution Windows for any given ad partner.
To access ad partner attribution settings, navigate to the Partner Management page, search for and select the corresponding Ad Partner, and click on the Attribution Windows tab.
Using Ad Partner Attribution Windows
When you enable Use Ad Partner Attribution Windows, the defaults from the app-level are auto-loaded. Please contact your Ad Partner if they require different settings to ensure you input the correct attribution window lengths.
Attribution Logic Nomenclature¶
Branch and Tune have different terminology for Attribution windowing, but the logic is very similar. This section covers the automatic mapping from your Tune windows to your Branch Windows, as well as the differences you can expect to see on Branch.
Deterministic Attribution Windows¶
- While Tune had multiple windows for different types of deterministic attribution, Branch has a single simplified window for click to install.
- Tune supported an indefinite Post-Install Event Attribution Window. Branch supports a maximum of 90 days for click and 7 days for impression.
Fingerprint Attribution Windows¶
- Branch does not currently support fingerprint impression attribution.
- Branch’s fingerprint window is stored at the app level, not the ad network level. We used our default of 2 hours because an IP match beyond this time window is not accurate.
- You can configure Deep linking Duration Window in Link Settings > Attribution Windows.
- Setting Deep linking Duration Window to 0 will block fingerprint attributions, but will prevent deferred deep linking (deep linking through install) in some cases. Normal direct deep linking will work.
- We have beta support for blocking fingerprint attributions as fraudulent for specific campaigns or ad networks. Please reach out to your CSM if you are interested in participating.
How does Limit Ad Tracking impact Branch attribution?
A user's Limit Ad Tracking preference is passed through from Branch to ad networks. The ad network can then decide whether or not to target the user. The value of the flag does not explicitly affect attribution.
Having said that, when limit ad tracking is enabled on iOS, no IDFA is made available on the device. This means that for iOS users with limit ad tracking enabled, Branch will not make calls to self-attributing networks (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Google, Snap) or pass IDFA to ad networks via postback. Apple Search Ads also does not return attribution for users with Limit Ad Tracking enabled.
For more privacy tools, including the ability to opt users out of Branch attribution, please visit our docs page on [SDK Privacy Controls]