Table 2

Categorisation of all third parties (n=108) and third parties excluding Apple Inc./Google LLC/, Inc. (n=79) performing analysis-related services

Main activityN (%) third partiesDescriptionExamples
AllExcluding Apple, Amazon, Google
Advertising38 (35.2%)35 (44.3%)Includes services that provide ad attribution to tie each user to the ads they interact with; buying and selling of ad space; ad serving and ad management; and analytics that enable ad targeting and personalisation.Adjust; Amazon Ads; AppsFlyer; Google Marketing Platform; Mintegral; Awin; Quantcast; Singular; Tapjoy
Analytics36 (33.3%)27 (34.1%)Freemium services; in exchange, companies retain the right to collect, aggregate and commercialise de-identified end-user data; companies provide services to app developers including error and bug reporting, and analysis of user numbers, characteristics and behaviours; some also offer the ability to understand users’ behaviours across devices and platforms and integrate with advertising data to target marketing activities.Apple Cookie Tracking; Bugsnag; Mixpanel; Crashlytics; Nominatim; Iterable; Instapage; New Relic
User engagement12 (11.1%)10 (12.7%)Freemium services; in exchange, companies retain the right to collect, aggregate and commercialise de-identified end-user data; these software integrations allow developers to analyse how users navigate an app, features users find most engaging and provide push notifications to increase user engagement.Apple Game Centre; Google Help; Zendesk; Optinmonster; Gravatar
Social media5 (4.6%)4 (5%)Integration with social media platforms, allowing apps to share users’ data with social media or to import social media data into the app; this could include a Facebook login, status updates related to the app, sharing content via social media, or finding a list of contacts who have also installed the app; this integration also allows for cross-platform advertisingFacebook Graph API; Pinterest; YouTube
Customer identity and access management4 (3.7%)1 (1.3%)Customer identity and access management software is a type of identity technology that allows organisations to securely manage authentication and authorisation of customer identities.Google Sign in Service; Amazon Cognito Authentication; Google Identity
Device verification/ID4 (3.7%)0Services that allow organisations to verify the credentials of an incoming request from a device or external system, so that certain functionalities may be reserved for known, trusted, and legitimate users.Apple Verification for Legal Phone Access; Apple Check Device Warranty; Apple Verification for Permission to Use App
App store3 (2.8%)0An app store is a digital storefront designed to allow visitors to search, review, and purchase media and apps offered for sale electronically.Apple iTunes; Google Play;
iTunes Search API
Privacy2 (1.9%)0Services that allow users to manage their privacy settings when using particular programmes or applications, such as opting out of advertisements, granting permission to collect user information when engaging with ads, and cookie tracking.Apple Ad Privacy for User; Privacy Manager Google Chrome
Subscription services/in-app purchases2 (1.9%)1 (1.3%)Services that allow app developers to manage purchases and subscriptions within their app and collect data on revenue generated from these purchases.Google Play Developer API; Qonversion
Geofencing1 (0.93%)0The use of GPS or RFID technology by organisations to create a virtual geographical boundary, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area.Apple Geofencing
Unknown1 (0.93%)1 (1.3%)Third parties that may have a broad range of capabilities and uses, with no indication of the specific use within the context of this study.NA
  • API, application programming interface; GPS, global positioning system; RFID, radio frequency identification.