Apple makes it harder to track app installs from mobile ads

Apple has just made it significantly harder for app advertisers to track ad spend connected to app installs.

With the latest iOS 14, Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), which is “a random device identifier assigned by Apple to a user’s device” (Adjust), has just been made useless.

The way IDFA works is simple: when an app advertisers say Uber runs a user acquisition campaign to get new customers, Adjust or another app install measurement partners can track the ad click to the app install.

It’s a useful way for the advertiser to know whether their campaign actually worked or not.

What’s more, it enables app developers to hone in on the audiences that work for them, i.e. become subscribers or make an in-app purchase.

With the roll-out of iOS14, users are now having to explicitly opt-in for apps to track them across other apps and websites.

The problem is that the majority of customers would not opt-in to allow personalised ad tracking.

A survey of over 1,000 consumers by Tap Research showed that 57% would not accept tracking versus just 15% saying they’d be likely to.

But marketers won’t be able to complain to Apple because the company hasn’t removed IDFA; it’s simply boosted user privacy. And privacy is hard to argue with.

iOS users are known to be particularly valuable for app makers because they spend almost twice as much in-app ($15 billion) than Android users ($8.3 billion).

The move will hit large advertising networks such as Google and Facebook particularly hard. Although it’s likely they’re already working on ways to get around the restrictions.

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy. You can opt out anytime.