Segment adds automatic data collection for mobile apps

Called the Native Mobile Spec, it joins the company’s three other data packages — E-commerce, Email and A/B Testing — that capture standard events but allow for customization.

apps-mobile-smartphone-ss-1920Segment (formerly acts as a kind of data switchboard for brands. It takes data from sites, apps and various kinds of platforms and pipes them to any of several hundred tools for analytics, ecommerce, A/B testing and other purposes.

In short, the company says, it acts “like a single API.”

Each Segment user can set up the data they want to collect, but the company also offers three preset packages that automatically capture specific kinds of data most commonly required for e-commerce, email and A/B testing.

Today, Segment is announcing its Native Mobile Spec, the fourth package of automatically collected data. Part of the newest Segment software development kit for iOS and Android devices, it captures six in-app life cycle events: Application Installed, Application Opened, Application Started, Screen Viewed, Order Completed and Application Updated. The company says that its platform is currently connected to about 3,000 apps.

CEO Peter Reinhardt told me that within a few weeks, various marketing events will be added to the Native Spec’s set of automatically collected data, such as Install Attributed, Deep Link Opened and Deep Link Clicked.

The data is used, for instance, to power Custom Audiences, dynamic ads and conversion tracking on Facebook or mobile marketing, analytics and attribution through such tools as Tune, Kochava, MixPanel and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Reinhardt noted that previously, collecting data from apps through Segment required a brand to first determine what specs they wanted, and then the specs had to be manually set. A packaged Spec, he said, makes the process quicker and allows Segment to offer an existing server-to-server integration. Brands can also customize the Spec’s data collection with additional choices, if they wish.

The addition of Native Mobile Spec is the latest effort by the San Francisco-based company to make its “universal API” more versatile and efficient. In April, for instance, it added Sources, which expanded its data sources beyond apps and sites to CRMs, help desks, email vendors and others.


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