Many app developers may not know it yet, but the modern app ecosystem is about to change in a very big way, and it may be quite a shock to many how drastically that change will impact their bottom line.
Last summer Apple announced its App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework that has the potential to negatively disrupt the way app makers monetize their software. The technical changes will reduce the kind of default data access that app developers have to identify users. These changes will make it harder to target ads to specific users and will make app-based ads less appealing to demand-side platforms.
This means that the faucet of money that has kept many ad-supported apps awash in capital is expected to be turned down to a trickle when ATT goes live. As a result developers that rely on advertising are going to have to pivot in many ways to profitably survive.
As the decision-makers and dev team at Apple get the latest version of their mobile operating system ready for prime-time, app developers need to get ready for the seismic shift that will almost surely occur in the app ecosystem when ATT launches.
Industry watchers, analysts, and pundits have variously referred to the impending changes in iOS as an apocalypse, death of the in-app advertising industry, or at very least a serious curveball.
So What Exactly Are the Changes That Apple’s Enacting?
At the crux of it is a change in rules about how developers collect and share user information with advertisers.
Apple Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA)
The salient points all have to do with a special tracking number called the Apple Identifier for Advertisers, or the IDFA. IDFA is a device identifier that Apple assigns to users which can be collected by the developer and shared with advertisers for the purpose of tracking and targeting consumers with ads without directly identifying the user’s personal identity.
The problem for consumers is that IDFA tracking can still feel invasive to many, and may reveal a lot about their app choices and digital persona that they’d prefer not to have broadly shared. This privacy concern is particularly complicated due to the complex third- party and fourth-party relationships in the advertising supply chain.
Opt-out to Opt-in Model
While Apple isn’t necessarily getting rid of IDFA, what it IS doing is switching the broadcast of this data from consumers to publishers from an opt-out to an opt- in model. This means after ATT launches sometime in 2021, app users will have to give individual apps permissions to access their IDFAs.
Download the Full Guide to Learn the Following:
- How ATT will impact consumer behavior
- How the IDFA shift will drastically change the face of the app economy
- The most likely scenarios following the ATT change
- How developers can prepare themselves
- How Flurry can be leveraged to pivot based on Apple’s changes