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iOS 14 changes will impact web advertisers and app developers

In June 2020, Apple announced a new app policy which requires all apps to prompt users to ask for permission to track them across third-party apps and websites. That change is expected to be enforced this year, starting as early as January 2021.

What this means for you:

  • Over 70% of all Apple users, i.e. those who have moved to iOS 14, will soon get to choose whether or not they allow apps to track them on other websites and apps.
  • These users can choose to stop an app such as Facebook, Google, or Twitter to track clicks through to third-party sites, such as your website.
  • Measurement will no longer be real-time, irrespective of what users allow, and advertisers will see delayed (24-72 hours) and aggregated data on app installs and app events.
  • Conversion tracking will be limited to 8 events only per top-level domain. International businesses with multiple languages in sub-domains or different directories will still be limited to measuring 8 events.
  • Ad systems are evolving to meet these requirements, and marketing leaders will need to adjust their strategy and measurements to account for these changes.

What can you do to mitigate this challenge:

  1. Consolidate your measurement – the new limits are imposed per top-level domain. For advertisers who work with multiple agencies, this means consolidating tracking across all agencies.
  2. Pick your most important conversion events – identify your 8 most important conversion events, prioritise them, and plan how your current ad campaigns need to be adapted to work with just these 8 events.
  3. Ignore attribution models – the new ad model only allows last click attribution, which means that attribution-based bid strategies will not be accurate for your customers on iOS.
  4. Anticipate smaller audiences – custom audience sizes are likely to shrink, and you might need to prepare to rely more on broader interest-based and demographic audience targeting.
  5. Verify your domains – this is important on the Facebook network. Only one Business Manager should own a domain and control the events to be tracked.