AppTrackingTransparancy (ATT) Framework, iOS 14.5 and impact on App User Acquisition

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August 21, 2020

AppTrackingTransparancy (ATT) Framework, iOS 14.5 and impact on App User Acquisition

All apps submitted to App Store on or After 26th Apr 2021 will have to adhere
to ATT rules.

  • Start iOS, iPadOS, TVOS -14.5 all developer required to ask the user for their permission to track them across apps & websites owned by other parties.
  • All the apps submitted to App Store on or after 26th Apr 2021, should be built on the Xcode 12 & iOS 14 SDK or later.
  • Any new app using older SDK versions will not be accepted on the App Store, update will be necessary for all apps made for iPhone, iPad & Apple Watch.
  • ATT framework presents an app tracking authorization request to the user & provides the tracking authorization status.
  • Developers will have to mention any form of tracking done by the app on the App Store privacy info section of the product page.
  • Developers also have to specify the reason for the tracking & the purpose for which data will be used.
  • Apps that do not present the ATT pop-up and still attempt to track people will be removed from Apple’s App Store.

Impact on App User Acquisition:

  • Probabilistic matching ( Attribution ) will not be permitted under the new framework — except when a user has explicitly granted permission to be tracked.
  • Without consistent deterministic or probabilistic matching, user acquisition campaigns likely will see a considerable drop in attributed iOS installs and in-app conversions — at least until changes to measurement are put in place.
  • Targeting audiences in digital advertising will become more limited with the absence of IDFAs. It is expected that targeting will become more contextual, rather than based on user attributes and behaviours. This will impact performance marketing and its ability to find high value users and decrease wastage.
  • The ability to do extensive A/B testing is harmed. 
  • Frequency capping at the device level will become harder.
  • With the absence of an IDFA, creating accurate exclusion audiences from 1st party data will be harder. 
  • Creating (and maintaining) distinct audiences where there is minimal overlap of people will be harder.
  • SKAdNetwork will mean that the data available will be aggregated, delayed, and limited because data is aggregated and delayed without IDFAs, cohort analysis will be unusable.
  • App advertising data will no longer be real-time, but delayed by potentially a few days. After the install, and the user opens the app for the first time, the device will report the install 0-24 hours after a 24-hour timer expires. This means that installs will be reported 24-48 hours after the install happened.
  • Conversions after an install will be reported 0-24 hours after a 24-hour timer expires after the final conversion event occurs. 
  • Tying accurate and long-term revenue to advertising campaigns will become more difficult for mobile advertisers. Once the 24-hour timer expires any further events, notably revenue, will not be posted back for reporting.
  • Overall, Performance from mobile advertising on iOS14 is expected to look dramatically worse. With shorter lookback windows, no view-through attribution, and much less revenue able to be attributed back to a campaign, visible (i.e. trackable) performance from mobile advertising will appear worse.

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