How To Track App Installs From Facebook Ads

How To Track App Installs From Facebook Ads

If you’re running Facebook Ads targeting a client sign-up or App installation, knowing how you track who installed the app is critical to optimizing and scaling your future ad campaigns. 

The problem I’ve seen over the years generating millions of dollars from Facebook ads is that people don’t know how to track their data correctly and make a ton of bad decisions. 

So you get the incorrect tracking data and make a bad decision with your ads. You double down on ads that aren’t working the way you think and kill ads that are further down the road that may be working like gangbusters. It’s simply silly how bad that can be for your business. 

Instead, you need to know if your ads convert from the last touch to the first touch or somewhere in between. And you can’t do that from just Facebook or Google Analytics. 

Tracking your app installs is crucial if you’re looking to create better ROI for your ads, but what’s also important is to understand where their traffic and conversions are originating from in the first place. 

And Facebook won’t track that for you; you’ll have to do some detective work and find out when and where people are coming to your ads to install your app. It’s time-consuming and can be costly. 

Before we start on how to track app installs from Facebook ads, let’s discuss why it’s essential to know how and why to track app installs in the first place. 

What Is Mobile App Install Tracking? 

Why is tracking app installs important? 

If you are running ads that have a good conversion and are utilizing apps for your products, knowing who has downloaded and installed your apps is crucial to provide the client with updates and enhance their experience. 

Also, if you know who is installing your app, you know how to optimize the ads to increase conversions. 

If there is a gap in who converts from your ads but doesn’t install your app, it may be an issue in your ad messaging or app functionality. 

Also, and this is important, if you’re getting a lot of installs, you know that your ads and marketing are working well. 

But, if you’re seeing that you’re not getting the app installs you want, one reason may be your ads may attract the wrong customers, which means your messaging and targeting need to be revisited. And wasted opportunities cost you both time and money. 

So if you’re running Facebook Ads and don’t know who’s installing your apps, you may as well be digging a hole in the yard and throwing your money into it before shoveling dirt on top.

That said, if you’re running ads and getting app installs, you can analyze usage and improve your app to increase your ROI further when you run another set of ads.

Tracking your app installs is vital because users leave a trail of data when they install your apps. For example, they show when and how they got your app, how they got there, and what device they used, as well as their locations and demographics.

All these data points will give you better insights on how to market and who to target in your ads to optimize them in the future better. 

You want to know if people are downloading and installing your apps and uninstalling them. Why would they do that? Maybe they got what they wanted, or your app wasn’t what you advertised. Perhaps your apps aren’t good. 

Whatever the reason, tracking app installs and uninstall rates will help you figure out what your target audience is looking for and how to message them in your ads better. 

How Facebook Tracks Mobile Installs

When you advertise on Facebook, they like to track conversions in a way that gives credit to, yup, you guessed it, Facebook. Say you’re running ads on YouTube that drive people to a Facebook page or ad. 

From the Facebook ad, you’re looking for calls or opt-ins, whatever it is that you’re trying to get people to do, okay? Well, Facebook won’t give attribution to the original ads, the first touch ads. Instead, they’ll provide attribution and credit to the Facebook ad that got the click. 

The problem is that you may have been running ads all over the place for some time before a person clicked on Facebook. 

So your data from Facebook will only show that people clicked once they were on the Facebook ad, not where they may have initially come across your campaigns. 

So the problem, and I’ve seen this a thousand times, is that people use Facebook data to optimize ads that aren’t working all that great and end up killing ads that are doing all the heavy lifting. 

So they end up spending a lot of money and wasting it away on things that aren’t performing. 

To get started, you should create a target group using Facebook insights and set a campaign that makes sense for your target audience. 

You should create at least two to three more ads that all look similar but have minor tweaks and variations. Create lookalike audiences and set each of these ads to different target audiences. Finally, have the ad drive people to a button or click that drives them to download the app from the App Store and use Facebook’s SDK to track those actions. 

The Facebook info page for developers covers installs and conversions, and you can read about it on their Meta for Developers page. 

But in a nutshell, to track installs and in-app conversions on Facebook, they want you to install their SDK to enable install tracking. From there, Facebook will track and follow the total count and value of your app installs and give attribution to a specific ad campaign that led to the installation. 

Understand that tracking app installs from Facebook will be very much the same as their advertising models. Facebook is only interested in giving credit to Facebook, okay?

 It’s their business model to promote within the platform, and they don’t like it when ads drive traffic outside Facebook or come from outside their platform. 

They do everything they can to give credit to Facebook when the work is done elsewhere. But hey, that’s their thing, and if you know about it, you can work around it. 

Okay, so understanding how Facebook works will let you set up your tracking better. 

To track app installs with Facebook, you will need to set some code in your Facebook ad that will notify Facebook when the app is installed and opened. In addition, Facebook will capture the user ID and the device that the user is accessing the app. 

Once the user installs and opens the app, Facebook will give attribution to the ad that led to the download and install. But, of course, they will only credit the Facebook ad, not the original ad that drove people to Facebook in the first place. 

Basically, Facebook collects the device’s unique identifier through its SDK. Then, when someone clicks the ad on Facebook, it is sent to the App Store; the source and campaign are reported back to Facebook.  

A different tactic is to set your ad campaign as traffic rather than app install, and users can be tracked that way via a website URL. But, again, Facebook will give credit to the Facebook ad that led to the website, not track who, when, how, and where people came to Facebook in the first place to see your ad. 

This version of tracking is a little more complicated but allows you to capture the IP address users are on before redirecting them to the App Store. From here, you can cross-reference and compare the IP address from the app install to the IP address they used to access your Facebook ad and determine which campaign they came from. 

This can all be overly complicated and time-consuming. And again, I can’t say this enough, if you’re looking at tracking your ads, including your Facebook ads, to see what is driving app installs, you need to look deeper at your entire ad campaign and not just rely on the data that Facebook is going to provide you. 

That’s what Hyros does. It’s the best tracking software out there. It will follow a person from the first time they come across your stuff, so you have the right data to work from. 

Hyros Attribution Modes And Tracking 

If you really have the correct data that can help you track your Facebook ads and app installs, you need to go deeper than what Facebook will report. 

At Hyros, we use multiple attribution modes in our reporting to help you follow each person that comes through your funnels to convert so that you can optimize and scale the ads that are working for you and ignore the ones that just suck the life from your budget. 

You can set your tracking modes from the last click to the first click (scientific mode), multi-touch attribution, and filtering between ad traffic, organic traffic, or both. 

With Hyros, you can track how long it took someone to get to your Facebook ad, where they came from, and whether they downloaded and installed your app. It’s an all-inclusive way to track your ad performance. 

If you’re running ads on Facebook to get app installs, you need to be able to track exactly where and for how long your audience has been engaged with your ads to give it proper credit. Unfortunately, Facebook will only give credit to the last touch in your campaign, primarily if the person originated outside of Facebook. 

That’s it. Be my guest if you want to track your Facebook ads for app installs using Facebook reporting. But you’ll end up spending a ton of money on ads that just don’t work for you because you’re getting the wrong or limited data. 

But if you want to track your app installs from Facebook Ads the right way, and if you want to be able to scale your ads and get 15%, 20%, or even 30% higher ROI, the only way to do this is by using Hyros. Thousands of people, some big-name people, use Hyros and get those results. So check Hyros out.

And if you want to learn more about how Hyros tracks your ads and app installs, I don’t offer any courses, but you can subscribe to my YouTube channel, where I upload new content like this every day. So it’s like a free course, I guess.  
Finally, if you’re interested in talking with some big hitters, and I mean big hitters, check out my Facebook mastermind group. We have over 50 million in ad buys right there. The info and topics are killer. So check out Hyros. We guarantee an ROI of 20-30% on your ads by better tracking. So if you don’t get those kinds of numbers, we guarantee it, or you pay nothing.


If you are interested in obtaining the same stats I showed in this video and even having us help you set this up, GO HERE to get more information on HYROS.

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