Uninstall tracking violates app store policies

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. October 24, 2018

Retargeting mobile ads to win back lost app users has now taken on a whole new level according to a piece by Bloomberg.

It appears that users who abandon iOS and Android apps can now be bombarded with ads targeted to try and persuade users to give an app another chance.

So-called uninstall tracking is being offered by a variety of different mobile ad and app marketing players including Adjust, AppsFlyer and Localytics and clients such as T-Mobile and Yelp have been first in line to try them. The idea behind the technology is simple.

If a user uninstalls an app, s/he will no longer receive push notifications, and app developers can subsequently easily spot who may have uninstalled their app.

However, critics fear that uninstall trackers could be a problem for online privacy and data rights by not giving users an option to disable targeted ads.

When asked, Localytics said that it’s technology wasn’t being used to retarget former app users, whilst another provider stated that the decision to do so was with the app developer. However, MoEngage cautioned that this could bode badly for app developers who choose to retarget users in such a way.

More importantly, the practice may actually violate Apple and Google policies against silent push notifications.