Ostensibly, the move protects the privacy of Facebook’s users, but it spells bad news for marketers, which can no longer use device data and have to rely on metadata and contextual information. The changes have hamstrung larger advertiser’s abilities to perform their own calculations on Facebook’s data and have limited potential retargeting efforts using device data.
The policy shift had more than a few publishers wringing their hands, as Venture Beat reported the changes would require them to share what they considered proprietary data with Facebook—a charge that Facebook has denied.
AppsFlyer’s announcement puts it in excellent position as the first third-party measurement company to work with the Facebook changes.
AppsFlyer can deliver real-time ROI reports on Facebook app install campaigns by combining in-app activity and lifetime value data with ad cost and other campaign details. As a mobile measurement partner (MMP) with Facebook, AppsFlyer has access to Facebook’s back end. With the new reports, marketers can access campaign data including impressions, clicks, cost and more, directly alongside post-install activity such as in-app purchases, sessions, ARPU and others.
A Facebook spokesperson told Gamasutra.com: “There is no truth to the assertion that Facebook is telling advertisers to share post-install data from their mobile app with Facebook rather than any of our mobile measurement partners, nor do we encourage them to share data in the way that VentureBeat describes.”
“Facebook is one of the most important sources of app installs in the entire ecosystem,” said Oren Kaniel, co-founder and CEO of AppsFlyer. It’s importance means that most mobile game developers are going to have to find a way to work with the new changes, however they feel about them.
Regarding the policy shift, a Facebook spokesman made this statement to VentureBeat last week:
“Our Nov. 4 policy change will have no effect on developers’ ability to (a) export post-install data from their MMPs, or (b) use such data for retargeting purposes. It only limits developers’ ability to export attribution data that Facebook provides to MMPs — data which developers are prohibited from using for ad targeting or profile building today per our Ad Policies and terms.
There will be absolutely no change to the targeting practices advertisers are allowed to do with their post-install data after the November 4 policy change goes into effect. This includes exporting post-install data directly to their MMPs, running calculations, and then using the results to generate Custom Audiences on Facebook.”