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Investigate logging inbound "referrer" for app opens in EventLogging
Closed, DeclinedPublicSpike


As a product manager (or analyst) I want to know where people "come to" the app from, for users who have opted into data sharing.

Sources of app opens could be the following:

  • Spotlight search
  • Safari
  • Other deeplink (not in Safari)
  • 3-d press home icon
  • home icon
  • widget click-through

Am I missing any?

I would strongly suggest we do not record the actual article being opened or the full url of the referrer, but rather just the category.

Given the sandboxed and privacy features of iOS apps, we may not be able to determine or record this, but its worth looking into and seeing what we can. This spike is to determine what is possible/reasonable for iOS.

Note that Android recently added tracking of this referrer, but we do not expect the two platforms to pass identical sets of data given their different approaches to cross-app opening and user data sharing.

Event Timeline

Some context: On the web and (since recently, with T192779 and this patch) in the Android app, we do actually send the full url of the referrer as part of the request for the actual article being opened. For the web, that's of course simply part of the HTTP standard. It is then stored temporarily as part of the webrequest table (in the referer field), and processed further to e.g. generate the referer_class field in the pageview_hourly table, or the external referrals data exposed in this dashboard or the public Clickstream datasets.

I think it might make sense for the iOS app to also populate the referer field in requests (like Android does now, if possible also for external referrers), so as to benefit from all these established tools and processes. That said, a separate EL schema to log all the iOS-specific sources in more detail (Spotlight search etc.) could surely make sense too. Perhaps we should track this in two separate tasks.

Thanks for the context @Tbayer !

And I agree these are two different tasks. The first one, as stated by @JMinor in the task description, is to record from where people invoke the iOS app. This can be solved by adding a "source" field to the MobileWikiAppiOSSessions table.
The second task, according to the context given by @Tbayer , is to add "referrer" to the API requests to retrieve the articles. We should probably chat with Android engineers to get more details.

JMinor raised the priority of this task from Low to Medium.May 31 2019, 6:38 PM
Restricted Application changed the subtype of this task from "Task" to "Spike". · View Herald TranscriptMay 31 2019, 6:38 PM

This information would help us increase the iOS app users.

LGoto lowered the priority of this task from Medium to Low.