What is a callback?

Glossary Callback

The definition of callback

A callback (also known to some as a postback) is a ping made between one server and another. A callback can either occur manually or automatically and is triggered when a particular action or event is completed within an app.

Real-time callbacks are received as raw data using various placeholders, a set of dynamic macros created by Adjust. The availability of placeholders is determined by the relationship a company has with Adjust.

Why are callbacks important?

Callbacks are important for anyone using server-based technology to provide real-time reporting for business intelligence purposes. From a purely mechanical perspective, callbacks are the method by which data is pulled from a server to another. This means they are a necessity for anyone wishing to feed information into tools or dashboards attached to the server, such as a mobile analytics dashboard.

From a broader perspective, the presence of consistently triggered callbacks helps businesses to feel confident about the quality of their data. Rather than questioning whether figures are accurate, business professionals logging into dashboards benefitting from automated callbacks know with reasonable certainty that their data is accurate.

This has significant, additional effects on a business’s confidence in using data to inform performance. Knowing that this important data is being updated in real-time when significant actions occur, this allows developers to respond quickly to any necessary changes.

For example, if an update is pushed that causes users to churn due to a technical problem, a company running callbacks on crash reports could spot the challenges early, defusing the issue as soon as possible. In a more positive scenario, an app developer running callbacks on in-app purchase events might notice a spike after a push notification campaign, information them that this is a successful technique that could be implemented on a larger scale.

Considerations when talking about callbacks

Businesses need to consider when they want callbacks triggered. While it is possible to trigger callbacks on just about any event, requesting callbacks on everything presents companies with two potential challenges.

Firstly, requesting callbacks on everything will put internal servers under pressure. This could mean that anything accessing the server (including the app itself) could be affected by callback traffic, potentially slowing performance.

Secondly, requesting callbacks on everything might cloud successful analysis. Businesses need to weigh up whether analyzing everything or looking for specific actions will help their processes more. That being said, setting up callbacks for each stage of your user funnel is of great value to your retargeting analysis. This can help you see exactly where users lapse, and even inform you of how long it takes most uses to go from one step to the next.

Callbacks and Adjust

Adjust itself is a real-time callback system. Our documentation provides technical advice for working with callbacks, as well as best practices on how to select events worthy of automated callbacks and how to effectively add that data to custom analysis efforts. You can also find out our complete list of placeholders, here.

Want to get the latest from Adjust?