Affise and Mobile Attribution Platforms respond to iOS 14 Update

News — 11 Feb 2021

Industry Response to iOS 14 Update

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Affise and Mobile Attribution Platforms respond to iOS 14 Update

In the digital world, when it concerns our access to knowledge, news, commercial services, social communications, we prefer freedom and transparency over control and restrictions. However, alongside freedom, internet users reserve the right to protect their privacy.

After the volume, velocity, and variety of data peaked, digital marketing has run into difficulties in tracking advertising activities. The reason behind these difficulties is the limitations of access to end-user information that will be introduced in iOS 14 by Apple. According to Apple, they aim to ensure the confidentiality of personal data.
With respect to widespread concern for the future of online marketing, it is essential to know how this will affect users, tracking, and how the mobile industry and, most notably for our customers, Affise will address the challenge.

Apple iOS 14 Release

iOS 14 seems to be one of Apple’s most significant iOS updates so far, introducing iPhone home screen redesign, new features and updates for existing apps, Siri improvement, and many other tweaks. But what bothers the online advertising industry the most is the privacy-related matter of the IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) opt-in for all apps that Apple is implementing in iOS14.

To alleviate the impact and allow attribution and ad measurement Apple introduced two new frameworks: the ATT (AppTrackingTransparency) and SKAdNetwork. But even with the proposed solutions, it still entails a total elimination of basic capabilities like user-level attribution, retargeting audiences, look-a-like audiences, etc.

What Does That Mean For Users?

Affise and Mobile Attribution Platforms respond to iOS 14 Update

Once the Grace period ends, every app that wants to access a user’s device IDFA to track them will be required to obtain explicit permission from a user before tracking them or accessing their device’s advertising identifier.

All users who don’t have Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) enabled on their phone and who upgrade to iOS 14 later this year will see a pop-up window once they open any app for the first time on iOS14. The pop-up will ask for the permission to track a user across apps and websites owned by other companies in order to deliver personalized ads.

Affise Is Fully Equipped

Needless to say, we stay in touch with major attribution trackers and digital experts. It must be emphasized, though, that the future outcome for the industry remains uncertain. It means that marketers should consider the reliability of tracking technology, its ability to evolve more than ever before. Therefore, after learning about the Apple update, we have turned all efforts to prepare everything so that this update would not affect our clients’ businesses.

Probabilistic Attribution

As it can become impossible for any tracking solution to receive, send and process user-related data from Apple devices, including click ID, IP, User-Agent, Affise provides an alternative tracking method, that is, Probabilistic attribution.

The probabilistic attribution framework is the tracking method within which conversion is assigned to a specific ad campaign and affiliate through a set of non-unique data. Despite the absence of user-level data, this framework has already proved itself as an accurate and secure tracking practice. 

Mobile Attribution Industry Takes Action

Affise and Mobile Attribution Platforms respond to iOS 14 Update

Since Affise has many clients and partners from the mobile industry, it is also our responsibility to supply them with solutions that meet the demands here and now. In this article, we provide a general overview of measures taken by mobile attribution platforms to give you an understanding of where the industry is right now. And rest assured, Affise guarantees smoothness of integration with all of them.

Adjust

Given access to the IDFA on the supply side, Adjust proposes to use a hash of IDFA and IDFV, calculated locally in the demand-side app, to be used for attribution. This approach solves the demand-side consent problem as user permission to transfer IDFA off the device is not required. 

Right now, there are three ways how Adjust can support their clients and partners: 

  • Opt-in deterministic attribution using the ATT framework
  • Probabilistic measurement triggered by several non-deterministic signals
  • SKAdNetwork as an additional set of data

Kochava

Several years ago, Kochava foresaw that a similar release might happen. Thus, they started compiling identity solutions that are not reliant on a platform-specific advertising ID. 

One solution includes the Kochava’s Identity solution, which connects consumer touchpoints with hashed emails to enrich a marketer’s existing dataset with validated first-party data. Through Kochava’s IdentityLinkTM, marketers can further enhance their first-party data and have a greater understanding of their users with their identifiers.

Further, Kochava can support the ecosystem through frameworks like SKAdNetwork and XCHNG.

Branch

Branch has been building the linking platform and matching technology explicitly designed for the world where universal identifiers such as IDFA and GAID don’t exist.
The Branch system uses an anonymous, probabilistic algorithm that incorporates historical ad networks attributions to deliver high accuracy matching where there is no universal ID.

Appsflyer

The Appsflyer response to the challenge resulting from the iOS 14 is an aggregated attribution solution based on differential privacy principles and built-in strict privacy measures.

To adjust to the new iOS 14 reality, AppsFlyer comes up with an integration solution on the partner configuration page. The integration comes in two modes, regular and advanced privacy modes. 

Regular mode implies that advertisers can opt to work with partners and if available identifiers will be shared with partners. 

Advanced privacy mode allows users to maximize end-users’ privacy and comply with Apple iOS 14 updated privacy controls. As the attribution data is deprived of identifiers, postbacks are available only on an aggregated level. Identifiers can be shared in postback with the only exception when AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) consent is granted by a user in both the advertiser and publisher apps.

          Picture source: Appsflyer.com

What’s next?

At Affise, we are on the right track communicating with the partners how we will sort out new integrations and allow marketers to work under future privacy updates. Meanwhile, we have made numerous improvements to the development processes to adapt technology under privacy policies and regulations without any delay.

Written by Yulia Dobyshuk and Veronika Avdevich

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Yulia is a Content Marketer with a love to a great story and an eye to small details. Carrying a voice and delivering an accurate message - that’s what Yulia believes content marketing is for. Looking for thorough research and long-reads? You came to the right person. Her goal is to produce content that educates and entertains, and most importantly, has an impact. Challenges and something that is yet to be explored are her main motivators.

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