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Apptopia’s X-Ray data empowers the next generation of mobile ad targeting

Apr 01, 2021


Damian Gray

Apr 01, 2021

VP, Customer Success

Enrich your datasets with contextual data points for every app

With the anticipation that the majority of iOS users will block advertisers from accessing their data, ad networks will find it challenging to continue to target based on IDFAs. As a result, ad networks are looking for new data sources to support contextual targeting and maintain efficiencies. 

To empower ad networks and advertisers to harness contextual ad targeting, Apptopia has launched X-Ray: a new way to programmatically find relationships between publishers to enhance ad targeting on mobile. X-Ray uses machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to automatically tag ALL apps in your database with functions, features, themes, and other data points. With more contextual clues, you can strengthen your targeting strategy. 

Differentiate all apps with Contextual Tags 

Below are some examples of the hundreds of X-Ray tags that can be used in ad targeting and audience optimization.

Function Tags: Our function tags identify what the app is used for, such as food ordering or peer-to-peer payments. An app can have several function tags. MyFitnessPal, for example, has the following function tags: Weight Loss and Barcode/QR code reader. This signals that users who have the app are interested in weight loss and the ability to easily scan barcodes. 

Features Tags: Our features tag marks all the features that exist inside a given app, like online ordering, delivery, chat, etc.  Features provide context clues to what a particular user wants in their experience.

Amazon, for example, has multiple features, including Amazon Alexa, Order Tracking, Order Delivery, Reorder Items, Localize Language, AR/Location, Sharing, Compare Items, Price Comparison, Recommendation Engine, Gift Cards, Newsfeed, Integrated Support, Speech Recognition, and Link Accounts. All of these features signal what to consider when optimizing ad placement. 

Monetization Tags: Our monetization tags identify the way an app makes money, whether it’s from a trial, subscription, ads, etc. Roblox and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas are both game apps but have different monetization strategies. Roblox monetizes via subscriptions and in-app purchases, while Grand Theft Auto generates its revenue from paid downloads. 

Differentiate Games with Game Specific Contextual Tags

X-Ray offers game-specific tags that can be used to optimize ad targeting.

Gameplay Tags: Gameplay tags identify the type and style of mobile game, whether it’s a match-3, bubble shooter, 4X strategy, etc.

Let’s look at Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. This app is labeled with several Gameplay tags: Sandbox, Adventure, RPG, Driving, and Third Person. It is the combination of all these tags that make the game appealing to its audience. Gameplay combinations could signal a high likelihood of positive ad performance.

Game Feature Tags: Game features are game characteristics that enhance gameplay for a mobile game like ‘multiplayer’ or ‘leaderboard’. Feature tags are especially useful for finding similar audiences across mobile games. Roblox, for example, features chat, customization, and referring friends.

Theme Tags: The theme of a mobile game is like the ‘skin’ or how it is packaged. Examples of Themes are dragon theme, medieval theme, or baseball theme. The Oregon Trail app, for example, has several different theme tags: Wild West, Hunting, Fishing. 

Product X-Ray is different from other products on the market

Tags for non-games - All other players in the industry have focused only on providing tags for mobile games. To support all our customers, we provide tags for ALL apps, not just games. With the changing environment, it’s crucial to have access to contextual clues for all apps.  

Programmatic Tagging - Unlike a lot of competitors who resort to manual tagging, all of our tagging is done programmatically, which provides many benefits to our customers.

Zero Delay - By building algorithms powered by machine learning, as soon as an app is launched, it is automatically tagged by our systems.

Depth - We have tagged every app in the world with metadata, not just the first few thousand. This provides you with the ability to maximize your targeted advertising.

Consistency - By using machine learning, we ensure that our tagging is consistent. Removing human bias from the tagging process ensures accuracy and consistency for our clients.

Customization - Every customer has their own way they might categorize an app. If we don’t currently have a tag for an app you care about, we can easily add one. Our goal is to fit any customer's needs. As of today, we have over 340 contextual tags in X-ray.

More Specific & Accurate - Many competitors force an app into ONE singular category. By using tags, we can accurately tag an app for all the categories it falls under. Let’s take a look at The Oregon Trail app again.

This app has 3 different Gameplay tags in Apptopia; Simulation, Addictive, and Tycoon. If we were to force this app into one box, we would lose a lot of contextual clues that would help optimize ad targeting. Instead, with multiple tags, we can deliver better and more precise targeting. 

Ad Networks can access X-Ray data immediately

Product X-Ray is immediately available to ad networks and advertisers. Customers can access the X-Ray data feed via our API to help supercharge their targeted advertising. To get access to the X-Ray data feed, either contact your customer success rep. or email

More coming...

To continue to help our publisher clients stay ahead of the competition and grow their mobile footprint, we hope to have X-Ray available in our web tool in Q2 2021. With more contextual clues, clients will be able to break down the features and functionalities that make apps successful. Stay Tuned!

Damian Gray

VP, Customer Success