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The effect of iOS14 on your conversion tracking - what you need to know


The effect of iOS14 on your conversion tracking

The effect of iOS14+ on your conversion tracking - what you need to know

There are not one but 2 new updates with iOS14 that can affect your tracking with iOS14: Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) and App Tracking Transparency (ATT). In this article, we talk about how these different privacy features from Apple can affect your tracking and in which ways.

App Tracking Transparency (ATT):

ATT requires any application that uses cross-app tracking to show an opt-out prompt to users. It is mainly about consent and asking people if they agree to share their Identifier for Advertisers with app publishers for the purposes of measuring marketing effectiveness, enabling new marketing, and advertising to similar people, among others.

ATT isn't really a new feature. Apple previously had Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) which is kind of ATT's predecessor. The reason why LAT didn't as much noise as ATT is because it was a simple setting option on iOS devices that most users weren't aware of. ATT puts the customer's consent to be tracked front and center. It is estimated that only 4% of iOS users actually allow Apps to track them.

ATT mainly impacts Apps, even though the language actually extends to mobile browsers as well. However, most mobile browsers don't support ATT, and therefore it has no impact on websites today.

Can you overcome these limitations? Well, while from the looks of it you can't fully overcome ATT limitations, you can significantly reduce them through server-to-server reporting where your App's backend directly talks to Google and Facebook Conversion APIs or CAPI. 

To sum up this part: All ATT changes ONLY apply to iOS traffic from apps with ATT turned on. Normal web traffic, even on mobile, is not affected

Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP):

Now, ITP is a different story. ITP, which Apple first launched for Safari but extended to all web browsers with the latest iOS, deletes most first-party cookies in a week and blocks all third-party cookies by default.

The biggest effect you will observe with ITP is naturally on returning users. Since your cookies only live for a week, returning customers beyond this window are now new customers (tada!). 

Can you overcome this limitation? Yes, through server-side tagging and possibly server-to-server reporting. 

Server-side tagging means that instead of generating an identity (usually referred to as a client identifier or CID) on the users' browsers (which are kept in Cookies), you would generate a user identifier in your backend and then use it for reporting conversions (which technically happen by using them as a User Identifier or UID).  

There is more to the subject of ATT and ITP than meets the eye. Ad platforms like Google and Facebook ads would need to change their attribution models like Facebook moving to a 7-day attribution window or Google Ads tieing conversions to an advert instead of an individual (bye-bye GCLID, hello WBRAID/GBRAID) among other things that go beyond the scope of this article.

About Author: Sherif Ali is the founder of Funnelll; a platform that helps you run your own high-performing marketing campaigns like a pro. No coding, complex integrations, or data science needed.


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