How To Track iOS And Android App Ad Installs: Google Analytics, Facebook And Twitter

Understanding which ads are worth the investment is key to maximizing your revenue. These new tools can help you find out.

lt="How to track app installs

Google, Facebook and Twitter have recently announced upgrades to their platforms that will give app publishers better ways to track iOS and Google Play app installs that come from ads. This is great news because you will now be able to track how effective your marketing efforts are, within the platforms that you already use.

In addition to tracking downloads, you can also track user engagement and ongoing revenue. Understanding which marketing channels are not only generating the most downloads, but generating the highest return on investment, will help you understand where to concentrate your time and money.

This post will show you how to get started with each platform. We will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

Google Analytics

Install tracking is automatically available for Android apps, so you don't have to make any changes in your account. But if you want to take advantage of Google's recently launched iOS tracking capability, you will need to turn on iOS tracking.

Once your Analytics account is setup, you have to update your Analytics SDK. Then you can create Custom Campaigns to understand exactly where your app installs are coming from.

Other analytics companies can provide more detailed data, but having this information available in a platform that you probably already use anyway, can make it much more likely that you will look at it on a regular basis.


Twitter Answers

lt="Answers for free app install tracking

Twitter launched Answers on December 4th of this year. It is a free solution that measures paid and organic app installs. You can take advantage of this capability by integrating Fabric with your app.

lt="Free Twitter analytics

Answers only provides basic download conversion tracking. If you want measure conversion across multiple channels, app engagement and lifetime value of each download, you have to use one of Twitter's recommended mobile measurement partners.

Facebook Analytics

Facebook provides measurement for mobile app ads, to help you optimize your app install ad campaigns. Like Twitter's Answers, it is a free solution that allows you to track which Facebook ads your installs are coming from.

Unlike Answers, when you install the Facebook SDK, you can also track app events. This allows you to measure the level of engagement with your app.

If you want to find out more in-depth metrics like ROI and lifetime value, you also have to sign up with a mobile measurement partner.

lt="Facebook ad metrics


If you advertise on Facebook or Twitter, consider using their analytics solutions alongside Google Analytics or your existing analytics platform. This can help you double check your metrics and spot errors. No solution is perfect and getting data from multiple sources will help you uncover discrepancies or setup mistakes.

Our platform allows you to track downloads and revenue for each of your apps. It is a really easy way to quickly see how your apps are doing while you are working on your App Store Optimization. Be sure to connect your iTunes or Google Play account and have access to your data every time you log into Sensor Tower. If you're looking at App Annie competitors, be sure to read more about our platforms.

How do you currently attribute downloads and revenue to your marketing efforts? We would love to hear what you use in the comments below...

Screenshot Credits: Google, Facebook, Twitter

Sensor Tower's platform is an enterprise-level offering. Interested in learning more?

Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: December 2014