SKAdNetwork 5.0: re-engagement, privacy manifests, and more!

Apple has officially announced SKAN 5.0! What’s changing? When will we get to see the new version?

Melisa Rocío Fernández

July 3, 2023


This article was updated according to Apple’s latest releases.

What we know about SKAdNetwork 5.0

You might have heard that Apple recently announced SKAdNetwork 5.0 at WWDC23. You might have also heard that the industry wasn’t expecting a 5.0 version so soon after the release of SKAN 4.0 but the upcoming updates tackle two of the most talked about topics in the mobile marketing industry: 

  • (the enablement of) App re-engagement support in SKAN
  • (the end of) fingerprinting

However, there’s a lot of speculation regarding what is changing in this new SKAN version, and still not a lot of information on Apple’s end. That’s why we revisited all of Apple’s latest statements, videos, and documentation to make sure we stick to the facts. 

In this post, you’ll learn about:

1️⃣ How will Apple support re-engagement in SKAN 5.0?

2️⃣ What are Apple’s privacy manifests?

3️⃣ What is a Required Reason API? How will it affect fingerprinting on SKAN?

4️⃣ When will SKAdNetwork 5.0 be released?

5️⃣ What are the next steps for marketers?

Let’s get started!

Jampp explains the latest SKAN 5 updates

How will Apple support re-engagement in SKAdNetwork 5.0?

Apple has stated that, in SKAN 5, “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” [1]. It’s still unclear whether that means advertisers will get to run re-engagement campaigns independently from app discovery SKAN campaigns, or even see separate reports for re-engagement conversions. 

What we can infer from Apple’s announcement is that re-engagement support will be focused on users who have installed a specific app

In the current framework, advertisers are required to generate an install in order to measure any subsequent conversions. Apple could “support re-engagement” by allowing marketers to track in-app activity without users installing the app first—with no possibility to run re-engagement-only campaigns.

What are Apple’s privacy manifests?

Apple’s privacy manifests are files that list and record the different types of data collected by apps or 3rd party SDKs, and specify how said data will be used. 

There are two main goals behind this initiative:

  1. Helping developers (and Apple) understand how 3rd party SDKs are using app data, and for what purposes. 
  2. Helping identify APIs that could be used for fingerprinting (more on this in the following section).
A privacy manifest listing different collected data types and what they are used for
A privacy manifest listing different collected data types and what they are used for. Source: “Get started with privacy manifests.” Apple, 2023.

An app’s privacy manifest file doesn’t need to feature the specific data collected by 3rd party SDKs the app leads to. Xcode, Apple's integrated development environment, combines all the privacy manifests across every third-party SDK that a developer is using to create a single report.

Required reason APIs: the end of fingerprinting?

For Apple, fingerprinting is never allowed—but besides publicly standing against this practice, Apple had done little to disable or penalize it up until now. This upcoming SKAN version will be a turning point for advertisers who rely solely on fingerprinting. 

As part of the enforcement of privacy manifests, Apple will require APIs that might be used for fingerprinting to clarify the reasons why they are collecting specific types of data. This new update, known as Required Reason APIs, will group APIs into different categories based on their purpose and the type of data they provide.

Apps must accurately describe their usage of these APIs, which will be restricted to the specific purposes outlined in the privacy manifest.

Purposes why your app or third-party SDK might collects specific data
Purposes why your app or third-party SDK might collects specific data.

Why is Apple implementing signatures for SDKs?

On top of privacy manifests and the Required Reasons API, Apple will also be introducing signatures for SDKs with the goal of securing that developers are using the “official” version of an SDK (and thus preventing them from using code that hasn’t been written by the developer they expect). To that end, whenever a developer adopts a new version of an SDK for their app, Apple will validate that the SDK was signed by the right developer.

What are privacy-impacting SDKs?

Apple defines privacy-impacting SDKs as 3rd party SDKs with a “particularly high impact on user privacy[2]”. Apps that include privacy-impacting SDKs will need to include a copy of the SDK in their privacy manifest. To confirm which SDKs are considered to be “privacy-impacting”, Apple will be releasing a list of said SDKs later in 2023.

When will these measures take place? When will SKAdNetwork 5.0 be released?

While SKAN 5.0's release date still remains uncertain, Apple recently enforced other updates related to privacy manifests, as previously announced in 2023:

Starting May 1, 2024, new or updated apps that have a newly added third-party SDK that‘s on the list of commonly used third-party SDKs will need all of the following to be submitted in App Store Connect: (1) Required reasons for each listed API, (2) Privacy manifests, (3) Valid signatures when the SDK is added as a binary dependency

Source: “Get started with privacy manifests,” Apple, 2023.

What are the next steps for app marketers?

Despite the recent announcement of SKAN 5.0, the industry is still in the process of adapting to its predecessor, SKAN 4.0. Our advice for any app marketer looking to grow their mobile business on iOS is to make sure they’re fully leveraging all the latest changes introduced on SKAN 4.0, such as multiple postbacks and new types of conversion values.

As for SKAN 5.0, there are no immediate action points for advertisers. We recommend waiting for Apple to release new documentation on SKAdNetwork 5.0 to better understand the impact these new updates will have on iOS campaigns.

Take your iOS campaigns to the next level with Jampp

Whether you’re looking to start testing SKAdNetwork from scratch or boost the performance of your existing SKAN campaigns, contact us to talk to one of our experts. To learn more about the latest trends and challenges in the privacy era, visit our ATT & SKAN knowledge hub.


[1] “WWDC2023: What’s new in the App Store”, Apple 

[2] “What’s new in privacy on the App Store,” Apple

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