Simplifying attribution for pre-installed apps and third-party app stores


With the release of SDK 4.12, Adjust will now offer attribution for third-party app stores. This is big news for China, where third-party stores rule a competitive, contested market.

Previously, if you ran with multiple third-party stores, you would have had to set up separate APKs and implement separate default trackers within the SDK of each APK. Now, as long as the third-party stores is able to support the passing of the referrer, we can correctly attribute to the specific campaign information they create on their end. This is set up the same way you would set up your referrer for the Google Play Store, meaning that app tracking has never been simpler and more secure.

You can now be assured of accurate attribution no matter which third-party store you run with. The setup for attribution occurs in much the same way as your setup for the Google Play Store. You will set up a broadcast receiver; SDK 4.12 is set up so that once your broadcast receiver is set up, it will always catch the install_referrer intent and will always persist the referrer from that intent for use when the app opens. Everything inside the referrer is single encoded (if there are callbacks, they must be double encoded). 

Here is a list of referrer tracking parameters:

Compulsory parameters:



Preinstall parameter:




Campaign parameters:





Callback parameters:






Attribution for pre-installed apps

The same solution for third-party app stores that comes with an update to our latest SDK also applies to pre-installed apps on brand new devices.

In the past, this was tricky: because one of our fraud filters relies on distribution modeling, and the time between ‘click’ and install can appear outside of what we would consider ‘normal’ user behavior, it was easy for attribution information from pre-installed apps to be falsely marked as fraudulent.

With SDK 4.12, we will not receive a ‘click’ when the device is first initialized. Instead we will use a different method which will allow us to attribute the install without issue. When a new user installs the pre-installed app, the referrer will trigger an SDK click, which will adapt and carry resource information along with it.

Adjust is the most comprehensive measurement solution on the market. We are integrated with over 1,000 partners worldwide, including Google, Facebook, Tencent, Line and Weibo, and guarantee 200 millisecond latency with 100% success rate when tracking in China. To find out more about how you can track your ad campaigns and your in-app user activity with Adjust, fill out the form below and we’ll set up a demo to show you.

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