There’s no denying that Apple’s April 2021 launch of the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework requiring user consent to share the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) has been a primary driver of an ongoing revolution in marketing privacy and tracking practices.
Together with Google’s rollout of the Android’s cookie-less FLoC consumer data scheme, as part of its privacy sandbox — which is now in beta — ATT has led to the ascension of first-party data, clean rooms and contextual advertising, among other trends.
Of course, Apple has benefitted most thus far, having more than tripled its share of market since ATT’s introduction, to the serious detriment of Facebook and other competitors.
Given these giants’ lack of transparency, the practical implications for individual privacy and the societal impacts of having even more consumer data concentrated with and controlled by Apple and Google are unknown. But as independent researcher Ranking Digital Rights points out, they are potentially no more positive than the traditional third-party data-, cookie-driven ecosystem.
Still, it’s relatively good news for marketers that the percentage of iOS users opting into ATT continues to climb.
Among users who have installed the iOS 14.5 update, the ATT opt-in rate rose to 29% in this year’s first quarter — up from 25% in Q1 2022 and 16% in May to 2021, according to mobile analytics platform Adjust.
Opt-ins within the gaming app category have exceeded that, rising to 36% -- and many other verticals are now at 20% or above (chart top of page).
Adjust attributes part of the upswing in opt-in rates to improved user education.
Advertisers also continue to work on strategies for using Apple’s SKAdNetwork (SKAN) API for measuring ad activity on an aggregated level, including using device-level data to enhance those and conversion value strategies, according to Adjust’s 2023 Mobile Apps Trend report.
“The past two years have demonstrated that remaining agile and taking a solutions-based approach keeps the disruption of data privacy developments to a minimum,” observe Adjust’s analysts. “Creative, strategic teams equipped with the right tools and a holistic approach to attribution, measurement, and analytics have everything at their disposal to drive sustained growth in 2023 and to prepare for changes to come in the longer-term future.”