With Apple's new IDFA changes looming, Facebook has added a new login mode for app developers, in order to enable them to continue collecting some user data, and avoid being shut out entirely via the new IDFA prompts.
In a coming update to iOS, Apple will prompt users with specific information about the data each app that they go to open collects on them and their usage, while also providing an option to block any app from such tracking.
And while no one knows how many people will subsequently choose to block app access, the pervading view is that many users will indeed shut off access for a lot of apps. Analysts expect Facebook, in particular, to be significantly impacted by the change, given the amount of data Facebook's process collects and the company's poor reputation on data privacy.
In preparation for this, Facebook is now offering developers a new 'Limited Login' mode, which will give app makers the option to limit the amount of data their apps collect via Facebook's software development kit (SDK), which could be less intimidating for users via the new IDFA prompts.
As explained by Facebook:
"Limited Login mode is based on the OpenID Connect standard, and allows users to create new accounts or access existing accounts on your app while only sharing their name, profile pic, and (optionally) email address."
So rather than a long list of data points being collected via the SDK, users will instead be prompted to share only limited data insights, which could see fewer of them choosing to block data tracking outright.
Developers will be able to choose which mode their apps use - Limited or the Classic Login mode:
"Classic Login mode remains unchanged from the login product you and your users already know and love. It allows users to create new accounts or access existing accounts while granting your app the ability to access (with Facebook approval and user consent) certain Facebook data intended to improve their experience in your app."
Facebook says that developers will be able to use either, or both modes conditionally:
"For example, you may choose to leverage Classic Login mode for users who consent to sharing data for ads personalization, and Limited Login mode for those who decline. Note that only Limited Login mode implements the safeguards discussed above."
That provides more flexibility in dealing with the IDFA changes, while Facebook also notes that developers will be able to update a user’s login mode at any time.
It's just one of the various measures Facebook is implementing to combat the coming IDFA update, which it has publicly campaigned against, and continues to push back on. And certainly, it could have major impacts for digital advertising more broadly. More people opting out of data tracking means targeting, overall, becomes less accurate, which could see less effective, more expensive campaigns, and challenges in segmentation and audience understanding.
But then again, Apple's stance is that the changes align with a broader shift towards transparency, and giving users more control over their personal information, and how it's used.
Either way, the update will present challenges, and Facebook is continuing to facilitate new ways to negate any impacts where possible.