Apple’s IDFA – Why It Is So Important?

Apple's IDFA

For Tech Giants trust is everything; and yet in recent years they have found themselves being called before legislative bodies like the interrogative US Senate Commerce Committee or battling in the court of public opinion, where the CEOs of Facebook, Google or Amazon are openly questioned about their policies on a wide range of issues. As a result, more and more new regulations governing privacy, and aimed at preventing misinformation, are being introduced. In other words user privacy is now front and centre when it comes to Big Tech’s future plans. And while Publishers need to make sure that consent, notice, and regulatory obligations are properly managed on their websites, Advertisers and Publishers targeting iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS users have to be aware of the opportunities and challenges that Apple’s IDFA delivers.

What is the Apple’s IDFA?

apple idfa

In a nutshell Apple’s IDentifier For Advertisers (IDFA) ensures that users’ data is not held by some entity that collects all personal information and sells it to third-party stakeholders. Apps asking for your location tracking, or for access to your personal address book, and tvs recording all your conversations, represent the most obvious surveillance threat to your online security. But this will not occur with the latest IDFA Apple latest update. Currently SSPs, DSPs, MMPs as well as ad networks are using IDFA for:

  • Ad targeting and retargeting,

  • Campaign measurement and attribution,

  • Ad fraud recognition,

  • Frequency capping.

Certainly, what needs to be mentioned here is that IDFA does not apply to users using browsers on their iPhones or iPads. For these activities browser cookies will be used to collect data.

Why is IDFA important?

With the introduction of a new mobile operating system for iPhones and iPads, iOS 14, instead of abolishing IDFA, Apple has announced an update that has truly shaken up the AdTech industry. Now while accessing an app, users are asked about permission to be tracked across apps owned by companies.

In the past, users had to limit tracking controls and transparency features in the setting of an app; which were hidden in the depths of a device’s settings. Now, denying access is easier than ever.

Without a doubt, this bold move will represent a major disruption for the 581.9- billion-dollar-worth industry. User spend on iOS hit 15 billion US dollars in Q1 2020, which is much higher than the spend on Android ($8.3 billion); and which leads us to a very simple conclusion: Advertisers may end up reducing their ad spending budgets on iOS, as measurements will not be as precise and effective as before the changes. Facebook and Google may bear the brunt of these changes. Both players are on the top of the ad spending chain and their way of targeting ads in high-value contexts has up till now been impeccable. However, all this looks set to change. Obviously they still will make billions on app advertising but it will be much harder to target users and deliver personalised ads.

Apple Search Ads

idfa apple

There are solutions that all stakeholders might opt for, such as the content being available behind a log-in wall; where users freely provide all the information, or create campaigns based on contextual targeting. Also worth mentioning is Apple’s very own SKAdNetwork – Apple Search Ads, which focuses on mobile user acquisition on the iOS App Store and promises to deliver to Advertisers precisely what they want – measurements. Advertisers using SKAdNetwork will be able to assess campaign performance without revealing the data of either specific devices or specific user data. SKAdNetwork will only show conversion data, such as how many installations have arisen from an advertisement; which campaign is at the forefront, or engagement insights.

Final thoughts about IDFA Advertising

Well, the truth is: we can have data protection without data privacy, but we can’t have data privacy without data protection. The Tech Giants are competing with each other when it comes to proposing new features or solutions for customer privacy and data security. As a result, leading companies want to not only ensure data privacy but also shape the new age of digital advertising; one that pleases end-users and maintains market position. Apple’s move definitely is causing some disruption but also it has also created new opportunities.

From our perspective, it’s extremely important to follow the latest news and market trends relating to Apple’s IDFA matter. We at Yieldbird are industry leaders when it comes to supporting businesses with innovative and insightful solutions. We look forward to working with you!

Bartłomiej Oprządek

Bartłomiej Oprządek

Regional Growth Director

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