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A tracker is an indispensable tool in the arsenal of an affiliate that helps in running mobile marketing campaigns. After all, analytics is the foundation on which your promotion rests. First of all, you need to choose a mobile analytics and tracking system. There are a lot of options: analytics and tracking applications are constantly evolving and offer completely new approaches.

In this article we will tell you what trackers are, what they are for, how to choose a tracker for analytics applications, top popular paid and free trackers.

What is a mobile app tracker?

A mobile app tracker is an analytics system for mobile apps that supports integrations with advertising platforms and real-time tracking of app install sources.

Tracking mobile app installs is a difficult task, as app stores (App Store, for example) do not allow third-party services to collect any information about users. That’s why tracking systems were created.

Mobile trackers not only collect information about the number of user actions within an app, they also capture metrics that can help to significantly improve the quality of traffic, which distinguishes them from regular trackers. For example:

  • Number of installs;
  • Audience per day/week/month;
  • Number of launches;
  • Number of ad clicks;
  • Installations by users who clicked on ads but installed the app later;
  • Number of section views; 
  • Number of first purchases and their total number;
  • Other targeted actions.

How does a tracker work?

A user sees an advertisement on the Internet or in an app and clicks on it. The advertising network collects all the information about the user’s click – unique device identifier, device model, geodata, etc., and then encrypts it into a hash (or click id) and sends it to the tracking system.

In the tracker interface, we see a click. The user at that time goes to the app store and installs it. Since app stores (App Store, Play Market) do not generate click id, it is a blind spot for tracking systems.

The user has downloaded the app and launched it on their phone. At the same time, the tracker code integrated in the app code is activated. It too collects data about the device and checks it against the information received from the ad network. And if there is a match, the installation is counted as advertising, if not, it is counted as organic. Conversion data is returned to the ad network and displayed to the ad network. This data can be sent to other trackers.

How to choose a tracker?

The choice is much more complicated. In the world of apps, where two or even more apps are competing for one place in the top, it is difficult not to get lost in the abundance of tools for affiliates and analytics in general, and even more difficult to choose the right one. To simplify the choice, let’s set the evaluation criteria that should be taken into account when studying trackers for mobile apps:

  • Price

The scheme of paid trackers is similar: most have a free trial to evaluate the interface, features, convenience, and so on. And usually trackers offer several tariff options that include different features. On average, subscription costs from $100 per month.

  • Integration with *Facebook

Paid trackers are integrated with *Facebook, which means they are suitable for working with it. Free ones, on the other hand, struggle to connect and integrate with it.

  • Integration with other popular sources

Paid trackers support integration with TikTok, MyTarget, Google Ads, Snapchat and other popular in-app networks. Free ones can’t boast such a variety, but still support integration with TikTok, MyTarget, Google Ads and many in-app networks, so they are well suited for most affiliates’ tasks. 

  • Presence of own antifrod

Let’s designate at once – free trackers don’t have it. All paid trackers have built-in anti-fraud functions. These are convenient anti-fraud systems, where the quality of traffic is evaluated by different criteria. Remember that 10-20% of frod is a reason to worry about cleaning traffic.

  • Interface

When it comes to evaluating trackers by their interface, you should rely only on your own feelings. You can independently evaluate the convenience of the tracker’s interface with the help of the demo version. Also, do not forget about reviews of services, both on review sites and tips and feelings of your friends and colleagues.

  • Quality of tech support

On average, tech support response takes from 5 hours to 24 hours. There are those who are faster, there are those who work only on certain days.


Let’s take a look at the most popular ones. 


AppMetrica is an app tracker from Yandex. AppMetrica does not implement tracking of app deletions and ad impressions, display of costs on advertising platforms, no integration with *Facebook and other sources. Otherwise, the tracker has well-developed functionality and user interface, which is not inferior to analogs. As compensation for free use, Yandex collects and uses data at its own discretion.

 MyTracker is a tracker from VKontakte. It does not work for tracking traffic from *Facebook and *Instagram. If you use other paid trackers in parallel, you can integrate reports from them into MyTracker.

Firebase is a product from Google. It is a “Backend as a Service” platform for developing mobile applications with many features: tracking advertising traffic from Google Ads and other advertising networks (via customized links). Convenient interface for tracking statistics, you can get data about user actions and keep feedback with them using your own push notification system.

KOCHAVA – tracking platform provides a combination of application analytics and traffic attribution functions. Special attention is paid to the privacy of user data. It supports app user identification for different devices to avoid re-display in reporting. There is anti-fraud protection. The downside is a rather complex interface.

Paid services:

AppsFlyer is a sought-after mobile app tracking service, serving approximately 51 thousand apps worldwide. It has everything that was described above: work with all traffic sources, agent office, API, antifraud, advertising costs aggregation function. Expensive, but the most complete solution for large companies that use apps in their work and need deep analytics.

Adjust is the main competitor of AppsFlyer, but with more affordable rates. There is tracking of any channels, the possibility of deep analytics, and built-in anti-fraud. Some of the functionality is available in the demo version.

Branch – multichannel tracking of not only applications but also web. Using persona graphs instead of standard mechanisms. This allows you to identify a user without being tied to the device he or she is using. This means that you don’t have to pay for one user multiple times.


Undoubtedly, a tracking system is the foundation of successful mobile app analytics and a must-have tool for a marketer. It is mobile analytics that gives you the opportunity to get information about the user’s behavior in the app (downloads, visits and abandonments). Of course, you can try to optimize the app by poke method, but why, if the analytics system will do it faster and better. Choosing the right tracker for mobile app analytics depends on your goals. There is no one-size-fits-all platform that will work for everyone. Ask yourself honest questions about important criteria and secondary criteria, define your goals, set a budget and reread our article. If it seems that you have found the right option, go to the tracker’s official website to study all the conditions in detail, and don’t forget to read user reviews. After that, make a final decision. Good luck!

*The Meta Platforms company is recognized in Russia as an extremist organization and is banned. 


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