Apple announced SKAN 5 almost a year ago, and the new version was supposed to be released in late 2023. As we are approaching WWDC 2024, the new version of SKAdNetwork has not yet surfaced. However, Apple did move forward with its other privacy-related plans announced at WWDC 2023 (ex. Privacy Manifests).

While checking out Apple’s developer documentation we noticed a few recent changes which suggest that SKAN 5 will probably not be released under that name but will rather be merged with the AdAttributionKit.

SKAN 5 mentions removed from website

Mentions of SKAN version 5 are nowhere to be found on Apple’s website. It looks like any mentions of SKAdNetwork version 5 or planned updates to SKAN with the re-engagement functionality have vanished — except for the WWDC video and mentions on the Japanese, Chinese and Korean versions of the Apple developer site. The links to SKAdNetwork there, however, all point to the AdAttributionKit pages. 


Other possible variations with version 5 and SKAN/SKAdNetwork do not return any results either.

App AdAttributionKit appeared

Apple provided App AdAttributionKit, which is a recent addition to the web-focused AdAttributionKit that’s existed since iOS 14.5.

Apparently, Apple has been updating its documentation since January 2024, removing any mentions of SKAN 5 and adding a completely new section for App AdAttribution Kit, which builds on top of SKAN while adding extra features.

As spotted by Eric Seufert/MDM in February:


According to Apple, AdAttributionKit is broader and supports App Store and the alternative app marketplaces, while SKAN сontinues to support App Store. 

Apple may achieve multiple goals here. App AdAttributionKit responds to the need to support the alternative marketplaces that Apple was legally obligated to allow in the EU — while also creating an opportunity to put web and app attribution into one future-proof framework which will support the possible alternative app distribution.

Looking further into documentation, both frameworks are quite similar as AdAttributionKit uses SKAN functionality. Thus the 64-digit source identifier, multiple conversion values, lock windows, and more are all applicable to the new framework.

Re-engagement support is promised for AdAttributionKit (not for SKAN)

Any mentions of the much anticipated re-engagement support in SKAdNetwork are missing from Apple’s website. Instead, Apple promises upcoming re-engagement support in App AdAttributionKit. 


SKAN documentation recommends using AdAttributionKit

Additionally, on the SKAdNetwork support page, Apple is encouraging developers to use AdAttributionKit, and refers to the AdAttributionKit’s explainer page “for information on how AdAttributionKit helps advertisers measure the success of ad campaigns while helping maintain user privacy.”



Newly issued SKAN IDs follow the new format

New ad network IDs have the format .appattributionkit. Apple continues to allow using the SKAN and AdAttributionKit IDs interoperably.

skan id to adattributionkit id - dataseat

What will be the next step for Apple SKAN?

Here is our best guess on the two possibilities:

  1. App AdAttributionKit replaces SKAdNetwork. We will not see a SKAN v5 but the same features will continue to be supported and developed under AdAttributionKit.
  2. SKAN 5 is rolled out alongside App AdAttributionKit – despite them both having significant crossover. This second possibility, however, looks very unlikely.

The implications for app developers and marketers

Mobile marketers will still get the promised re-engagement support with the ability to track up to three conversion events after reinstall, which will improve marketers’ ability to measure their campaign’s ROAS.

App developers (advertisers and publishers alike) will make a decision whether and when to upgrade to a newer version of AdAttributionKit or SKAN (if SKAN 5 still happens) – while the effort should be similar.

From the DSP perspective, Dataseat – having experience with all the previous versions of SKAdNetwork – is fully ready to support SKAN 5 and the App AdAttributionKit that is derived from SKAN.