Apple’s SkAdNetwork & IDFV
In addition, Apple announced upcoming changes in IOS 14, in particular that they will no longer be using IDFA moving forward, and have since introduced SkAdNetwork and the IDFV as replacements.
IDFA has been the main device-level identifier built to target and track users across mobile apps. In the past, when you clicked an ad inside an app and you were taken to the AppStore to download the application, your IDFA would be used to track the conversion and tie it back to your user data; the campaign; and the original app to determine which campaign was most effective. In its place, Apple’s SkAdNetwork would exclusively solve for conversions on app installs. There are a few limitations like the maximum of 100 campaigns shared across many companies and unclear aggregation.
Instead of an IDFA being used across all apps on your device, Apple has also introduced an IDFV or Identifier for Vendors. This is a code assigned to all apps by one developer and is shared across all apps by that developer on your device. For example, Inlogic—the developer who brought you hits like Tomb Runner and Chess—would be able to use the same identifier for you across all apps by them, but Candy Crush by developer King would have a different IDFV identifier.
Given its privacy-based design, an overall reduction in ad targeting and measurement capabilities is expected to impact advertisers and app developer monetization. Moreover, IOS 14 will also require every app to ask users explicitly whether or not they want to opt-out of tracking. With privacy concerns top of mind, it seems likely few consumers will agree to be tracked and will choose to opt out, thereby limiting the ability to track activity across various apps. As it stands, “currently, about 70% of IOS users share their IDFA with app publishers, after this change it’s estimated that this number will drop to 10% to 15%.”
Amidst government regulations calling for greater consumer privacy measures in Big Tech, privacy-centric frameworks proposed by Chrome & Apple are forcing the entire ad tech industry to change. Following suit, District M & Sharethrough are actively monitoring these frameworks and beginning to prototype Privacy Sandbox solutions as well as supporting SKAdNetwork. We plan to be ready to meet buyers and publishers where they are as the landscape evolves.