Imagine this: You run a successful online shop and have a stylish app that makes shopping a breeze.
The bulk of your sales come from paid ads on Facebook and Instagram, and your usual process is to redirect customers who open your app but leave without making a purchase.
The more app installs you get, the more sales you log. This process is seamless as you can track user activity across apps and optimize your ad spend when you see what’s working and what isn’t.
However, with the release of IOS14.5 this week, the data you collect from Apple mobile devices is changing. Here is how.
Apple has confirmed that the launch of iOS14.5 will also change Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) framework, which is essentially the data exchange and data protection guidelines.
Apple now requires that all mobile app advertisers receive consent from users in order to track their web and app activities.
This gives consumers the ultimate in privacy, security, and control over the ads they see on their web and mobile devices. However, it is expected that not all users will accept this login prompt. This could make it harder for businesses to reach their target audience and deliver relevant ads.
From now on, any Apple user who downloads your app will see a prompt asking if it’s okay for the app to track it. Additionally, companies like Google, with limited app user data, report that ads may have poorer performance and ROI than they did before the change.
While Apple’s linchpin may seem shocking, it isn’t the first major tech giant to take action on privacy. It was only last year that Google, another major provider in the advertising world, announced that third-party cookies would expire on Chrome and that replacement tracking tools such as the Privacy Sandbox would be offered after 2022. For more information, please see this news here.
What will happen to Apple’s IDFA (Identification for Advertisers)?
To better understand what’s happening with Apple’s new update, let’s take a moment to learn more about the Apple Advertiser Identifier (also known as IDFA). IDFA is tied to every Apple device and is used by advertisers to identify users.
Usually the IDFA code is visible to advertisers and enables them to target customers again. Now it is only made available to advertisers if users give them permission and permission to track their usage across apps.
To prepare app owners, Apple has provided instructions on how to get the correct tracking permissions on its website:
You must also add a purpose string to the system prompt that explains why you want to track the user. Unless you are given permission from the user to turn on tracking, the device’s advertising identifier is all zeros and you may not be able to track it “Explains Apple.
How this affects MMPs (Mobile Measurement Partners)
Traditionally, MMPs have been able to pull data from mobile apps and deliver data such as installs, views and ad clicks in an organized and insightful manner. They provide advertisers with an understanding of where their customers are from and the results a mobile campaign is getting on their platform. With the changes to ATT, their ability to have access to all of this could be diminished.
However, some MMPs like AppsFlyer use Apple’s SKadNetwork to generate insights for their mobile advertisers.
The SKadNetwork is a secure way for MMPs and advertisers to understand app installations and campaigns without connecting these installations to specific user identities. Apple coordinates this assignment. While using SKadNetwork is a good alternative, it doesn’t consider view-through mapping and only provides data 24 to 28 hours after it is first started.
The early response to Apple’s Privacy Pivot
As you can imagine, this new update has hit the entire mobile advertising ecosystem, and brands like Facebook have already responded.
“Apple’s guidelines prohibit certain data from being collected and shared unless users choose to prompt for tracking on iOS 14 devices. As more users opt out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, ad personalization and performance reporting will be limited for both app and web conversion events, ”said a statement from Facebook for Business.
In the meantime, Google, which has also taken its own privacy initiatives, has provided developers and advertisers with information about how the change will affect them and reminded readers of the importance of protecting users’ privacy:
“At Google, users and their privacy always come first. Transparency, choice and control are the foundation of our commitment to users, and advertising is no different. We continue to be committed to maintaining a vibrant and open app ecosystem on which People can access. ” a wide range of ad-supported content with the confidence that privacy and selection will be respected, “explains the Google post.” That’s why we will continue to invest in privacy technologies – including aggregated and on-device solutions – like we develop them together with ecosystem partners for the web in the privacy sandbox. “
Quick tips for navigating Apple’s privacy changes
While this change is likely to affect your current ad campaigns and the extent of its impact is still somewhat uncertain, there are a few areas you can lean into and optimize your content for the right audiences:
- Don’t forget the Android campaigns: The iOS 14.5 update only affects Apple devices and users, so you can continue to segment and target your audiences by Android users.
- Contact your website: Use your website’s tracking features or analytics tools to understand where your visitors are from and use those visitors to create audiences.
- Reinforcement of organic efforts: Take a closer look at your organic social media and content strategy. Then use that data to build your brand.
While the times ahead are uncertain and may not seem ideal to marketers and advertisers, the industry is likely to move forward and find ways to reach potential customers. As Apple rolls out this update, we’ll be paying close attention to how advertisers are responding and will continue to update this post in the future.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to provide legal advice for your company on compliance with data protection laws such as the GDPR. Instead, background information is provided so that you can better understand the latest data protection shifts. The tips provided are not the same as legal advice, where a lawyer applies the law to your specific circumstances. We therefore insist that you consult an attorney for any advice on your interpretation of this information or its accuracy.
In short, you should not rely on it for legal advice or as a recommendation of any particular legal understanding.