Apple continues to set precedent and leads the way on protecting their users’ privacy. They’re implementing and adhering to ATT with the new iOS14 update. 


What is ATT exactly?

Simply put, ATT stands for App Tracking Transparency. It’s a change to Apple’s privacy and data collection policy that requires mobile marketers to ask consent from users in order to track them. Specifically, marketers will be required to ask user’s permission to track them across apps and websites owned by companies other than Apple.

Essentially for those Apple phone users (roughly 50% of mobile users are on iPhones) when you go to download an App, you will see consent to track you across the web dialog modals. See example below:

New ATT implementation notification on Facebook App

Yes, users must now opt-in in order for their behavior data to be shared and tracked across platforms and websites that don’t belong to Apple. 


So what’s the big deal?

Another great question and I’m so glad you asked.  Roughly, 75% of  all users will opt-out. The outcome of this will have significant ramifications. This will lead to more than ⅜ of a decline in tracked users. Did you know that Apple users generate more than 5 times revenue than those users on Android devices? So you can see why Facebook advertisers are panicking. 

User that will fill this effect immediately are: 

  • Those who are Direct to consumers with low profit margins
  • Users that have longer sales cycles
  • Advertisers that are using Cross Domain tracking – **Big Impact (you may have to refactor your website to offset this obstacle)
  • Who rely on social platforms to generate new website and app users

Items that will get impacted are 

  • Ability to accurately measure ROS (Return on Spend)
  • Conversion or Attribution tracking deficiencies
  • The ability to confidently measure marketing efforts  

Why is this the shot that can be heard around the world? … (I know this isn’t Ali and Foreman Rumble In The Jungle but you get the gist)!  Because it will affect more than just the Facebook Advertisers. The ramifications of this update will be felt on many different levels such as: 

  • Ad Performance will be expect to decline 
  • Audiences will shrink 
  • Lose ability to effectively target  audiences of interest (move away from audience networks)
  • App campaigns will see a decline in reach
  • Big Implication for Facebook
    • Leading App install platform and will see a significant hit in this area
    • Affect many small businesses that use Facebook as a Hub for their business
  • The conversion reporting data will be delayed up to 3 days 
  • Custom Audience will be smaller 
  • Facebook Tracking will be limited  to only 8 events ( * This includes custom conversions)
  • Segmentation by age, gender or platform is no longer supported
  • Reduce attribution windows


All right! Enough already. When is the update going to take effect?

According to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, stated these changes will go into effect“In the coming weeks” of Q1. Obviously, we are already in Q2 and still no update but I would begin to plan ahead as you know the hammer will be dropping at any moment now.  

No worries, if you forget and don’t remember to watch for the update, Facebook will go ahead and choose the 8 events for your Campaign automatically. Also, Ad sets that are using custom events that are not in the list of 8 events to choose from, Facebook will automatically pause those campaigns until you can go in and adjust them. If you know your way around the Ad Manager platform you can find more help in the Resource tab. 

So what else can you do to make sure we are using the platforms to advertise effectively to our targeted audience? Great question and the answer is simple … “First Party Data is King”.  You should begin to shift your efforts toward building your marketing insights around First Party Data. Now is the time to evaluate or relook at your current tech stack to ensure you’re in a position to use or create reliable identify graphs with customers that have email and phone numbers that can be used as the primary key. This will ensure that you can continue to market to your audience on a 1 to 1 basis. 

If you need more help on this topic, of course you can always reach out to us (or to your current marketing partner) and we’ll be more than happy to to assist you. 

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Written by Keyon Whiteside

“If I can put the car in the ditch, I can get the car out of the ditch.”