The next major iteration of Apple’s SKAdNetwork (SKAN) framework is coming. The Big Tech giant announced SKAN 5.0 at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this year. While little detail was given about SKAN 5’s implications or exact release date, we know a few things.

Below, learn everything you need to know about SKAN 5 and how it might affect your mobile advertising campaigns.

But, first, a little review of SKAN 4

Rolled out in October 2022, SKAN 5’s precursor — SKAN 4.0 — included key enhancements to marketers’ ability to measure and track their growth campaigns. As of now, SKAN 5 does not seem too drastic a departure from SKAN 4’s capabilities. With that said, here’s a quick rundown of what was incorporated into SKAN 4’s update.

  • Campaign granularity: SKAN 4.0 expanded the 2-digit Campaign ID of previous SKAN versions into a more detailed four-digit identifier and renamed it a “Source ID”. This gave advertisers more than 10,000 ID combinations, versus the previous 100 to assign to their campaigns. With this greater campaign measurement granularity, marketers could access a greater understanding of the quality of users they were driving to their apps.
  • Conversion values: With SKAN 4.0, Apple began providing greater detail to its conversion value data. In earlier iterations, if a user did not meet the privacy threshold, the advertiser would receive a null postback. In contrast, SKAN 4.0 expanded its privacy threshold into four tiers of crowd anonymity (0, 1, 2, and 3). Each install could be assigned to one of these tiers. This gave advertisers greater flexibility to meet privacy threshold constraints and decreased null postbacks. This, ultimately, also gave advertisers more data to work with.
  • LTV measurement: SKAN 4.0 gave two additional postback windows to advertisers, enabling three postback windows over the course of 35 days rather than the original single 24 hour postback window. With three postback windows to pull data from, advertisers could get a better understanding of how often a user installed their app and engaged with it over time.

While SKAN 5 is already on the horizon, SKAN 4 is still in the very early stages of adoption. According to Singular, as of April 2023, not even 1% of postbacks were SKAN 4 compatible.

SKAN 5: What’s to come

Notably, Apple’s announcement of SKAN 5 at WWDC 2023 indicated the new framework will support re-engagement. This shows that Apple listened to the mobile market’s calls for re-engagement and retargeting measurement. This has been a top request from the industry since SKAN 2.0.

In the official release, Apple said:

“SKAdNetwork 5 will support measuring re-engagement. In addition to measuring conversions after a user downloads your app, you’ll also be able to measure conversions after a user opens your app by tapping on an ad.”

Based on this limited description, it seems version 5 of SKAdNetwork will enable advertisers to re-engage people who have already downloaded an app but not necessarily retarget people who have installed an app and then deleted it.

But, it’s unclear how SKAN 5 will actually target people for re-engagement. As in — how will Apple enable advertisers to engage only people who have already installed their app? With that said, any support towards targeting could indicate Apple is moving in the direction of building a framework similar to Google’s Privacy Sandbox which supports re-engagement measurement on Android.

Other updates: new App Store privacy requirements

While not directly related to SKAN 5.0, there are a few privacy requirements coming to the App Store in spring 2024.

  • Privacy Manifests: As part of Apple’s Privacy Nutrition Labels introduced at WWDC 2022, new Privacy Manifests will help developers provide users with information about their app’s data handling across third party SDKs.
  • Required reasons for APIs:  Starting in spring 2024, all apps referencing APIs will be flagged and required to select an allowed reason for the usage of that API. This will deter fingerprinting — which is banned by Apple— and provide additional privacy protection to users. Required reasons for APIs will also be declared in the new Privacy Manifest.
  • SDK signatures: To enhance users’ security even further, Apple will release a list of privacy-impacting SDKs. Apps that incorporate these SDKs will be required to publish them in their Privacy Manifest.

How advertisers can prepare for SKAN 5 and other privacy updates

To be frank, there's little advertisers can do at this point in time to prepare for SKAN 5.0. As mentioned above, the industry is still very much navigating the challenges of implementing SKAN 4.0. It was also unexpected that Apple would release any information about SKAN 5 at WWDC 2023 in the first place.

Our biggest advice is to continue building out long-term strategies for making your app self-sufficient and privacy-compliant to keep up with ongoing privacy enhancements. This includes customizing your ATT opt-in prompt, implementing a pre-permission prompt, and using machine learning to compliment first-party information with probabilistic data.


Apple announced SKAN 5, the next major iteration of its SKAdNetwork framework, at WWDC 2023. While details about its implications and exact release date are limited, some information has been provided.

  • SKAN 5.0 is expected to support re-engagement measurement. This will enable advertisers to measure conversions after a user opens the app by tapping on an ad, in addition to conversions after a download.
  • Other updates unrelated to SKAN 5.0 include new privacy requirements coming to the App Store in spring 2024:
    • Privacy Manifests will help developers provide users with information about their app's data handling across third-party SDKs.
    • Required reasons for APIs will be flagged. Apps will need to select an allowed reason for API usage to prevent fingerprinting.
    • SDK signatures will be released to identify privacy-impacting SDKs. Apps incorporating these SDKs will need to publish them in their Privacy Manifests.
  • Advertisers should focus on building long-term strategies for app self-sufficiency and privacy compliance in anticipation of ongoing privacy enhancements.
    • We recommend customizing your app’s ATT opt-in prompt, implementing a pre-permission prompt, and leveraging machine learning with first-party information and probabilistic data.

Looking to retarget and re-engage top users on iOS devices? Schedule a meeting with our team of iOS retargeting experts.