With Apple's IDFA update coming soon, most of the focus has been on Facebook ads, and how the changes to personal data tracking will impact advertisers on The Social Network.
Which makes sense, with reports suggesting that Facebook will be among the most heavily impacted by the change, which will give users the option to opt-out of in-app data tracking. But all apps will be impacted in some form, and this week, Twitter has outlined how it's preparing for the IDFA change, and what Twitter advertisers should do in readiness for the data privacy shift.
As explained by Twitter:
"When Apple begins to enforce the identifier for advertising (IDFA) changes associated with iOS14, using their ATT framework, apps will be required to provide a prompt to people in order to access their device’s IDFA. In preparation, we have taken steps to support SKAdNetwork, Apple’s proprietary attribution solution, which enables click install reporting aggregated at the campaign or ad group level."
Apple's SKAdNetwork - or StoreKit Ad Network - enables advertisers to measure ad effectiveness while maintaining user privacy by keeping user and device-specific data separate. Apple is pushing this as an optional data tracking option, and for some, like Twitter, that may still be somewhat effective.
But there will still be tracking and attribution impacts.
"We currently believe that [IDFA] will largely impact App Install and App Re-engagement products."
Which is probably the key impact in terms of targeting - when people opt-out of in-app tracking, that will make it impossible to retarget them with relevant ads, because you won't know, for example, what they've purchased already, whether they went through to the checkout stage in a purchase chain, what they searched for in the app, etc.
Still, Twitter doesn't see this as a major impact for its advertisers. At least, not yet.
"We currently do not believe any immediate action is needed at this time for advertisers who leverage products other than our App Installs products. For example, if you are an advertiser that leverages website, video, and awareness products, no action is needed as of now. We will continue to share updates if this changes."
Twitter is advising brands utilizing App Install campaigns (via MoPub) to work with their mobile measurement partners to ensure that they're configured to support the SKAdNetwork. Outside of that, Twitter's taking a more 'wait and see' approach to the change.
"We know the launch of these iOS14 features will impact measurement, and specifically, 3rd-party measurement integrations. We will not know the extent of this impact until [the IDFA update] is launched. We are evaluating several alternative solutions to help advertisers measure ad performance, and will provide an update once we have a path forward."
It is, of course, impossible to know what user response will be to the new IDFA warning prompts, but the projections are that many users will indeed opt-out of being tracked, which will significantly impact data options for digital ad campaigns.
The extent of such will vary, and will evolve over time, but it is worth considering the data sources that you're currently using, and how you might be able to supplement such, where possible, to optimize your campaigns moving forward.