Does Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other App/Client traffic include a referer?


For any user who comes to a website from a mobile app, there’ll be no referer information. This blog post by Mike Dixon explains it in detail.

In a nutshell, the page referer is a data point that is fetched from a HTTP header on a web page, so any non-web referer wont have any that data set.

So if you are seeing data with the page referrer missing it could be a situation where users have clicked through from links on Twitter, Facebook, etc. within the client, and because the link is on a client rather than a web page, there is no page referer.

A page referer will only be set where a user has landed on one web page having clicked through from another web page.

However the mkt_source and mkt_medium fields should be filled for paid traffic if you are using campaign_attribution.

In these cases you use the mkt_ fields to determine where the traffic comes from. In general you use these as your first port of call for determining where a user comes from, and check the referer data to see if:

  • It suggests something contradictory
  • Adds some additional useful information. (E.g. tells you that what page URL an ad on a PPC network was served on.)


Answer - yes, sometimes it does to track the site redirecting you to certain accounts on Instagram and Facebook, usually with commercial accounts.
If you want to do this, try checking something like this and find out how it’s been done.