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  • Lisa Miller Froyoo

How will the Apple IDFA updates affect mobile advertising?

Updated: Sep 18

Sticking to tradition, during the annual and long anticipated Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple has announced a series of changes. You could always expect changes from Apple, but what was announced, shook the entire advertising industry to it's core. One of the most prominent of the announced updates, would be the greatest cause of concern to advertisers and publishers alike worldwide. The change revolves around Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency framework and the future of IDFA (Apple's Advertising Identifier). Apple announced that with its upcoming September IOS 14 update, IDFA will become history, absolute.


But hold your horses, at the last second, in September, right before release of IOS 14, Apple announced that it is giving developers more time to prepare for the removal of IDFA, and postponed the update until early 2021. You could almost hear the sigh of relief from the advertising industry


Mobile app advertising is a colossal industry. Therefore, you could image that the update will have a significant impact on the entire industry. But, what kind of changes are we talking about? What is IDFA? What is at stake and what will follow?

What is IDFA?


As is the case with Google's AAID / GAID, the IDFA is an identifier used by Apple on its iOS devices. IDFA tags are used in the same way as cookies, but they replace cookies in iOS apps. Advertisers use IDFA to identify users across their apps regardless of their IOS device. This proves very useful for advertisers wishing to provide personalized targeted advertising, with frequency capping, and measure the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns.


Third-party cookies usually have a limited life-span for online monitoring: from one to thirty days on average. IDFA does not change unless the user modifies the settings on their device.


IDFA is one of the most accurate ways of measuring user interactions among ads and iOS apps. It provides a high standard of privacy and underlines the preference of the user entirely. It is very beneficial to marketers if IDFA is available and easy to use. The use of IDFA to classify users is made by adtech companies such as SSPs, DSP's, ad networks and mobile measures partners.


Main uses of IDFA

  • Ad targeting and re-targeting

  • Frequency capping

  • Measuring your campaign

  • Attribution

  • Detection of advertising fraud


What will change?


From the beginning of 2021, advertisers will have to obtain formal consent from their users in order to make use of their IDFA for any purpose. Consent will be made possible through the new AppTrackingTransparency Framework.


Consent must be requested before monitoring occurs, either when the application is downloaded or opened, or when certain features of the application are used. Today IDFA is automatically opted-in, but with the change, the default will be the opposite way around, making the IDFA virtually obsolete as users will most likely choose not to enable it. The reason behind the the change is that Apple wants users to understand the apps’ privacy policies before downloading and using services.


We believe that only by openness and active communication between the major industry players, (including the consumers) the ecosystem will flourish.

The good news is that when significant improvements are made in the environment , new development and new opportunities are opened up. The pace at which the changes will start to reveal themselves on the market is still to be seen and the effects.


Elsewhere:

Adexchanger - Apple Will Delay Its IDFA Changes In IOS 14 Until ‘Early Next Year’, Will Apple’s Deadline Extension Change How Developers Get Ready For IDFA Changes In IOS 14? Digiday - Contextual targeting is going to be the new black’: As IDFA restrictions loom, advertisers brace for the fallout Forbes - IDFA Stay Of Execution: Apple Delays New iOS 14 Privacy Measures Until 2021 Apple: App Tracking Transparency Framework, User Privacy and Data Use, SKAdNetwork


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