Jul 27, 2022
The size of the global Android operating system (OS) market has grown steadily over the years and, as of June 2022, it stood at a healthy 72% of all mobile devices worldwide. In some regions, like Brazil, India, and Indonesia, Android is even more dominant with over 85% market share. With over 250 million Android smartphones shipped last year, Samsung is the largest Android smartphone manufacturer, followed by Huawei and Xiaomi. To be a global leader in attribution solutions, a mobile measurement partner (MMP) like Branch empowers accurate attribution and seamless customer experiences across most, if not all, Android devices for paid campaigns.
Targeting Android devices like Samsung, Huawei, or Xiaomi phones just got easier. Branch now redirects users intuitively to the native device app stores on these devices with install referrer support. It works the same way as Google Play Install Referrer. Branch retrieves referring parameters from an expanded selection of Android app store APIs to provide deterministic matching for attribution and deep linking purposes on these newer original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). This expansion marks another milestone in Branch’s ability to offer accurate measurement and linking across apps, on an immense breadth of app stores, to support your complex user acquisition strategies.
Before this release, deterministic matching was available only for campaigns leading to the Google Play Store. Android app installs through any alternate app stores would have had to rely solely on probabilistic matching. Android campaigns on newer app stores like Huawei AppGallery could not offer brands the comparable ability to provide seamless and delightful user experiences. Now with Branch, advertisers can employ deterministic matching with the support of multiple Android app store install referrer IDs. Finally, brands across the world have another robust way to capture high lifetime value (LTV) customers for additional Android app stores.
For advertisers committed to offering accurate attribution and great customer experiences on a consistent basis, the chances of a probabilistic mismatch are ever-present. And the potential for mismatch in probabilistic attribution methodologies also limits visibility into post-install events. In general, advertisers who simply use probabilistic matching struggle to personalize customer experiences and confidently discern where their highest LTV customers came from on third-party Android app stores.
The install referrer is essentially a string of code that Branch sends to an app store when an ad is clicked. When the app is installed, the referrer is sent to Branch where we match the install with the ad network (or source) where it originated. Accurate install referral data guarantees almost 100% matching accuracy. This is crucial to understand which traffic sources send users to download your app and to gain insights into post-install events.
Branch’s Android SDK has been supporting the Google Play Install Referrer for years. With install referrer support, Branch confidently attributes and deep links the user when they open the app. And now with install referrer support expanded to newer app stores, brands can reliably deliver great customer experiences across a broader range of devices, as well as deter fraud.
100% deterministic matching is now possible for deep linking after install by leveraging each new app store install referrer. With improvements to the customer experience and increased visibility into your post-install activities, you can now make better investment decisions on paid Android campaigns from third-party app stores. This additional flexibility in OEMs with install referrer support is undoubtedly game changing in Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin American regions.
Deterministic matching on an expanded set of app stores via the install referrer, enables you to leap one step closer to a world where every experience works seamlessly, for every customer, every time.
With expanded support for multiple app store APIs, Branch now gathers the exact install begin time (the moment the user entered the app store and clicked the “install” button). The simple availability of the true install begin time provides a fuller view into the prevalence of fraud in the ecosystem.
By the nature of how they are built, install referrers can match clicks and installs decisively and effectively defer fraud on Android devices. Historically, before the install referrer API could provide the install begin time on third-party app stores, MMPs like Branch only had visibility into a user’s first launch of an app, which triggered the initialization of our SDK. In the absence of install referrer data, an unknown time gap existed between click and actual install. This gap was an ideal time window for fraudsters to exploit.
During this window, a common type of fraud called “click injection” could take place on Android devices. Click injection is a type of mobile ad fraud unique to Android install campaigns where a dubious source will trigger a click just before an app finishes installing. This will occur in a way that reattributes credit for the install to the dubious source and away from its authentic source, which could be relevant paid, owned, or earned channels in an app’s marketing mix.
Click injection can undercut organic installs. Fortunately, utilizing the install begin time saves Branch customers significantly on falsely attributed installs in their Android app store campaigns.
Advertisers need to create compelling user experiences in their global, omnichannel campaigns. This often means handling continuous experiences across every OS, OS version, app version, browser, and experience. Supporting multiple Android app stores in more accurate and effective ways is part of Branch’s ongoing commitment to push the capabilities of attribution technology.
With the growing popularity of alternative app stores on Android devices, we recognized the need to give more flexibility to global advertisers who rely heavily on Android campaigns.
For existing Branch customers, access to the install referrer support on additional Android app stores is now available as long as you have upgraded to the latest version of our Android SDK, v5.2.0. You can also dive deeper into our methodology on install referrers or our Android integration dependencies. To brainstorm ways to kickstart your global Android campaigns and to ensure you’re taking full advantage of our Android SDK, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
To help you fuel cross-channel and cross-platform mobile growth, our team works hard to deliver the most current, relevant resources.