SKAD vs SKAN vs SKAdNetwork: What’s the Difference?

February 23, 2021
SKAD vs SKAN vs SKAdNetwork: What’s the Difference?

SSP, DSP, MMP, ROI… The mobile ecosystem love acronyms. Sometimes, we love them a little too much! Following Apple’s announcement in June 2020, we have many more to get to know, like SKAD, SKAN, and SKAdNetwork.

But acronyms get confusing, and many people can’t accurately say when they’re talking about Apple’s privacy centric framework StoreKit AdNetwork, or something else. Let’s make some definitions to cut through the nonsense.

Starting with SKAdNetwork

SKAdNetwork is Apple’s short-form name for “StoreKit AdNetwork”.

Even though the name is supposedly short-form, it’s still a mouthful. To fix this problem, we invented SKAD.

Onto SKAD:

As an acronym, SKAD hides many different meanings:

  • Steal, Kill and Destroy
  • Survival Kit – Air Droppable
  • Sk Advertising (UK – advertising)

But when it comes to iOS, SKAD means: StoreKit AdNetwork, but with an emphasis on the S, K A, and D.

And finally SKAN:

SKAN also has many definitions, including Saint Kitts and Nevis (a dual island nation located between the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, the smallest country in all of the Americas).

But for our purposes, SKAN means:
StoreKit AdNetwork, with an emphasis on the S, K, A, and N.

That’s right: SKAD, SKAN, or SKAdNetwork – all refer to the same thing: StoreKit AdNetwork.

SKAdNetwork may be the mainstream term, but you might think (like us) adding ‘network’ is redundant. At Liftoff, we use SKAN: of all, it’s perhaps the easiest to say but it doesn’t lose “Network” entirely like SKAD does.