Back in June 2020, during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple traditionally announced changes coming up to its products and operating systems, like they usually do. Somewhere between fancy UI upgrades and new emojis, Apple shared a set of privacy control measures affecting both users and marketers in a significant way. This change meant that iOS 14 will require apps to ask users for permissions for collecting and sharing their data. This has prompted major players like Facebook and Google to push back on the iOS 14 changes.
The iOS 14 announcement was followed by a bunch of articles calling this decision an ad apocalypse. This doomsday was, luckily for many, postponed by Apple itself to early 2021. And while this update is looming, much is still unknown – but everybody is sure it will make a huge impact on the digital marketing we all know. We’ve put this blog post to help you have a closer look at what’s on the horizon and approach this digital storm prepared and without panicking!
What is the IDFA and why’s so important?
The main reason for raising the alarms is the change that involves an identifier known as IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers), a key element for marketers, in making better, more informed choices on how to spend their ad budgets. This simple string of numbers and letters gives all the pieces of information needed for targeted advertising, frequency capping and measuring campaign performance.
With the declared update, Apple will change the availability to access the IDFA and its information. Now, IDFAs are available for the majority of the users – after the update, they will switch to an opt-in approach. So, in order to access one’s IDFA and all the valuable data it carries, apps will first have to ask for permission to track their activities. For a reason, it is expected this % will be extremely low compared to the current IDFAs available.
What’s the alternative?
As an alternative for everyone affected by an update, Apple offered SKAdNetwork, introduced back in 2018. This platform is designed not to share any data regarding users or their devices, thus it lacks lots of information marketers rely on.
How will TikTok respond?
Most platforms including Facebook and Google” started working on implementing and adapting changes to align with the new iOS 14 privacy policies coming their way. For big ones, like TikTok, ad business will be just fine, with few bumps on the road, because users provide through their profile and activities much more data than an IDFA. The most significant effect will come in the spheres of app install ads and programmatic placements.
Many would think mobile marketing ends here – but, ads will still be there, just not placed and targeted like now, but rather using new techniques and methods. For example, Users, if they decide to opt-out, will still be covered with ads, but this time, not so personalized and relevant for them. This is prompting Facebook to have all their advertising clients to implement Facebook’s conversion API to lessen the impact of iOS 14. Since TikTok’s tracking pixel is much less developed the impact of the iOS 14 changes will be much less noticeable.
Apple iOS has decided to shake the foundation of modern, digital advertising with a firm stance on giving its users more control over their privacy. The current delay, on other hand, is seen as additional times for marketers to adapt, retool and find workarounds for the upcoming update.
Now, with more power in their hands, users will decide who and how much can know about them. Big platforms will surely take a turn in terms of the privacy policies, especially the one always ending up in the spotlight, like TikTok.
For ones that decide to advertise to iOS users it will mean a prolonged and more difficult process before reaching who they want. This means more inefficiency, thus, more expensive advertising. This will require big advertisers with complex targeting to rethink targeting strategy. It will also required analytic and engineering updates to make sure all the tracking is captured with the new set of policies.Apple is taking a firm stand! Pro transparency, against intrusive advertising and misuse of personal information. But, what about Apple’s long-term plan, if there’s maybe one? Maybe it’s setting up the stage for entering and grabbing the seat in the advertising landscape? If you need engineering or marketing assistance to ensure these new Apple iOS 14 changes won’t derail your business then we would be happy to help.