Last year, Apple announced big IDFA changes included in the iOS 14. And now, it’s happening!

Facebook has implemented a series of updates to the platform. These updates are changing the way advertisers optimize and collect data. The new policy will affect how the algorithm of Facebook and Google’s advertising platforms will work. 

With these updates, there has been a lot of confusion about what’s allowed, and what’s not. And, what does this mean for performance marketers?

Well, let’s find out by mapping out the most common questions about the iOS 14 IDFA changes.

Why is this important to know about?

Apple’s goal with ATT is to allow users to choose whether a first-party can share their data with a third party. It’s a question of privacy regulation. 

What is IDFA?

IDFA – The Identifier for Advertisers – is a string of numbers and letters assigned to a user’s device operating on either iOS, tvOS, or iPadOS. Its main role is to track and identify the user without giving away their personal information.

What does IDFA mean for advertisers?

For advertisers, the IDFAs works like browser cookies, allowing them to:

● Deliver personalized and targeted ads

● Restrict how often a specific user sees a particular ad

● Define user characteristics

● Pinpoint the source of installs – if the users came from an ad or other  sources

● Measure campaign performance

What has changed?

Before, information about types of data tracked by certain apps was not well exposed to the user. And even though the IDFA settings were available, few users knew where to adjust them.

With the latest iOS14 update, it doesn’t matter if the user agrees or not to the cookie policy from the website. The user is still asked via a mandatory opt-in pop-up if they agree to have their activities tracked. And if they don’t agree, only a very limited amount of data are transferring.

How will this affect advertisers & what do we need to know?

There has been a big change to Facebook Ads. For example, key metrics like the number of purchases will no longer be real-time. Facebook predicts delays of up to several days after viewing Facebook ads.

In response to the attribution problem, Apple is offering SKAdNetwork (SKAN) API. It’s a privacy-friendly way to attribute impressions and clicks to app installs on iOS apps. It’s worth mentioning that this tool comes at a cost, as it will limit the type and amount of data linked to app events.

The update will also impact:

  • Match rates
  • Custom Audiences’ sizes
  • App Install (AIO) and App Event Optimization (AEO) performance
  • Conversion optimization
  • Dynamic Ads

Additionally, the restrictions affect advertising on iPhone devices with versions iOS 14 and above. This means changes in ad targeting, remarketing, and performance measurement.

There is a loss in functionalities for iPhone users with iOS 14, such as:

  • Conversion and attribution window concept (only SKAN API’s 30-60 day click-through will be available)
  • View-through
  • CPA bidding
  • Breakdown of user characteristics (like age or gender)
  • Audience exclusions
  • Deferred deep-linking
  • Value Optimization (VO)
  • Split and conversion lift tests
  • Messenger placement

Conclusion

Apple’s ATT is a big deal. And we know it’s forcing change and bringing more awareness and transparency to how we use our data. But, it’s not changing the entire game. The full impact will depend on how many people choose to opt-out of tracking.

Apple spells out the rules quite clearly in their iOS 14.5 documentation. So, take our advice and read Apple’s App Tracking Transparency fine print. That’s how you make sure you’re fully on point on what these updates mean for you and your tracking.

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