Apple has released iOS 14.5 for iPhone and iPad. This update will be taking steps to protect users’ privacy by limiting tracking ads and introducing transparency into the data collection process for advertisers. The changes in iOS 14.5 give consumers more control over their personal information when using mobile apps. This update also has implications on how advertisers can track user behavior online.
Before the update, it was easier than ever to track ads in mobile applications. By tracking user activity using “big data,” associations decided how to allocate their marketing budget. This new update will give control back to the user by allowing them to choose what information they want to share with advertisers to give more control over the ads they see. Users have expressed frustration due to privacy and security concerns revolving around mobile marketing campaigns in recent years, so this update seems like the natural response from Apple.
Below, we explore what this change could mean for mobile advertising and for associations that rely heavily on ads to generate revenue.
Apple’s iOS 14.5 update introduces a new privacy feature.
This new privacy feature presents the device user with options about whether their apps can track or collect browsing data to use for remarketing purposes. The privacy feature can be enabled or disabled at any time via a pop-up within the application or in the settings on the device. There is also an option to request more information and instructions from app developers to know what they will be tracking and why.
How are the tracking ads turned on or off?
Each Apple device out there is issued an Identifier, or IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) ID, that identifies you across applications and platforms. “Big data” uses these IDs to track your interactions within applications on your device and relays behaviors to generate the ads served on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Users will be forced to opt-in to share their behaviors or opt-out to block their data from being tracked and shared.
Who will be impacted the most?
iOS 14.5 will affect the following advertisers and types:
- Advertising agencies
- Mobile app developers
- Small business and direct-to-consumer companies
- Associations and non-profit organizations
- Digital marketers
- Apple users
This will impact the mobile advertising landscape.
As users begin to opt out of sharing data, organizations will have to be smarter in how they use their existing budgets and advertising strategies. The new iOS 14.5 will only make that awareness grow larger and more widely accepted. It will be up to advertisers to adjust accordingly or risk a drop in revenue generated from these tracking methods.
What can associations do now?
Associations should be crafting opt-in messaging to users who are about to see or have seen the alert. They should explain that they can remain opted-in for these features and explain how your ads serve a purpose beyond tracking. The sooner people adopt these changes with a clear message from your association, the better-adapted advertising will be to continue generating revenue moving forward.
So what happens from here?
Apple is not alone in this initiative; many smartphone manufacturers are also looking into putting privacy features onto their devices. While this update to 14.5 is only for Apple devices, Android devices are next. Devices such as Samsung’s Knox security suite and Huawei’s TrustZone technology offer tools to prevent unauthorized access when storing data remotely. As mobile continues its dominance as the primary way we access the internet, we must understand how a simple software update can change our daily lives personally and professionally.
Curious how this update will affect your marketing efforts on an individual level?
While there are many implications of this update that we can’t predict yet, it’s important for marketers – especially advertisers who engage in retargeting campaigns – to consider how they’ll need to adjust their messaging strategy accordingly so as not to lose members on account of this change. If you’re curious about what all of this means for your marketing campaign, get in touch with Drew Navolio.