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Today is the day for digital marketers.

Apple has officially released iOS 14.5, which includes new phone unlock options for people who wear face masks, a variety of updated Siri voice options, and the following:

Apple iOS 14.5
Image Source: iDea Huntr

Yes, Apple’s divisive new app data-tracking prompts are now available on all iOS devices.

As explained by Apple:

“App Tracking Transparency requires apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies for advertising, or sharing their data with data brokers. Apps can prompt users for permission, and in Settings, users will be able to see which apps have requested permission to track so they can make changes to their choice at any time.”

The update has been in the works for a while, with Apple first announcing it in June of last year. Since then, a number of businesses have expressed their displeasure with Apple’s new strategy, citing the significant impact it could have on digital marketing and the effectiveness of online ads.

Facebook launched a public campaign, including full-page newspaper ads, portraying Apple as the villain, with the change expected to increase the cost of digital advertising for small businesses at a time when they can least afford it. However, Apple’s position is that this change places more control in the hands of individuals, which is the way it should be – and with the broader trend toward greater transparency and control over user data, Apple’s prompts make a lot of sense.

However, there will be consequences. Facebook has released a long list of changes in response to the release of iOS 14.5; TikTok has also released an overview of ad impacts. For months, other platforms have been sharing details about the upcoming change and laying out how ad partners can prepare.

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The difficult part is that no one knows what the consequences will be because it all depends on how many users opt out of data tracking when the new prompts are presented to them. According to industry estimates, the vast majority of users will opt-out, though early tests suggest that this may not be as significant as expected.

However, there will be consequences in either case. With the new prompts going live today, it’ll be important to keep an eye on your campaign’s performance and note any significant shifts, while businesses should look to update their data collection processes to avoid any potential losses.

Source: Social Media Today

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