2 min read

Apple iOS 14.5 update: App Tracking Transparency

Apple have finally revealed a date for the release of their iOS 14.5 privacy update, which will include the controversial move to introduce a new feature called App Tracking Transparency (or ATT). We did some research on what this new feature could mean for businesses, and got some of our Paid Social specialists to share their opinions on the impact of the new update.

While the iOS 14.5 Beta 2 update has been released already, it is still not widely available for every iPhone and iPad user as a fully-formed update as of yet.

What is the new iOS App Tracking Transparency feature?

The new ATT privacy feature will introduce a new process for users with apps on their phones. When using an app, a box will appear, asking the user to opt in to tracking. In Settings, users will also be able to have a view of which apps have requested permission to track, and they will be able to make changes to any permissions.

This seems similar to the recent EU GDPR introduction, as it reverses the permission structure from a user being automatically opted in until they choose to opt out. With the new ATT update, users will be automatically opted out until they choose to opt in.

What does the ATT update mean for Paid Media and Digital Marketing?

Currently, some apps on your phone may be tracking you across other apps and websites, collecting certain data they can then use to serve you with targeted ads based on your activity or search history.

This is done through the identifier for advertisers (IDFA), which is able to track without revealing your personal information.

However, if users opt out of tracking, this will reduce opportunities for advertisers to serve them targeted ads, and may have a dramatic impact on performance figures.

What our experts say

To get a better idea of the implications of the update, we turned to our Paid Media team to hear their opinions. One of our Paid Social Executives, Eva Pearson, said:

“There’s a lot of ambiguity around the coming iOS update – and there has been for the past few months – but what we do know is when it does launch, it will have a major impact on all of our app and event tracking, our remarketing and our audiences. This will make it extremely hard for us (even harder than it currently is) to understand the impact our social media ads are having on consumers. Not only that, but it will also stop us from finding the users who are interested in our content.”

Jack Harrington, our Paid Social Lead, also gave us his thoughts on the new Apple privacy update:

“It’s now more important than ever to prepare for a cookieless world. For Facebook advertisers this means utilising your first party data to fill in the gaps with offline conversion data, and setting up Server Side events using the Facebook conversion API. This of course won’t fully mitigate the impact of the update, but it will definitely help Facebook get a better picture when used in conjunction with the Pixel. I would strongly recommend you set this up sooner rather than later to avoid disruption”

The new iOS update that brings the App Tracking Transparency feature will undoubtedly rock the boat for advertisers, and may require an element of adaptability to ensure results don’t suffer going forward.

If you’re a business facing possible disruptions because of Apple’s new ATT update and you’re not sure how to prepare, get in touch with our Paid Social team. Our experts aim to stay ahead of the curve, so they’re always ready for the latest updates. Contact us using the form below to speak to a member of the Paid Media team.

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