Apple Changes The Privacy Game. Here’s What You Need To Know.

Timing really is everything, and Apple chose the week before Christmas to deliver their gift to Facebook, amongst others. 

A stocking full of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), the Cookie Apocalypse, and now Apple’s IOS 14 Update.  It seems privacy is on everyone’s wishlist!  So it came as a festive surprise that Apple’s new software update, coming to all mobile devices possibly early in the new year, will impact how users are tracked in-app by imposing privacy changes to our beloved Facebook, Instagram, and likely Snapchat (and other social platforms).

So What Is It?

Once the update is rolled out, all users will be prompted to opt-in or opt-out of in-app tracking across all apps, as well as web conversion tracking, via a pop-up message. The pop-up is similar to what has been rolled out across the EU with the GDPR, and has subsequently had global impacts around opt-ing in for “Cookie Tracking” on websites. 

I’m still not sure why this matters?

In-app tracking looks at social engagements (likes, comments, shares), ad engagement (if a user clicks on or purchases from an ad), as well as behaviour insights around what content users engage with while browsing online. This update will most likely impact the way we target specific audiences, optimise, and report on website conversion activity. 

With You Now, So What Are the Implications?

  • Short Term – You can relax, eat and drink over Christmas:

No direct implications in the next 1-2 months, but brands need to look at getting their ducks in a row for when the update is released.

  • Medium Term – New year, some small adjustments:

Impacts of the update will be clear and our targeting approach will need to be adjusted to find our efficiencies and effectiveness, with the opportunity to use other channels while we find our feet again on social. Alongside this, quick win lead generation activities will take centre stage. This will include incentivising people to provide their contact data via a discount or free gift when they sign-up to an app or newsletter. 

  • Long Term – It’s time to get serious about a couple of things: 

The first is first-party data. An always-on approach for attracting new customer data is a tough job, but it’s a must in any acquisition and targeting strategy.

The second is demand generation activity. This often gets overlooked in the digital world, but brand building and awareness campaigns really are the key to growth. Now more than ever they have to play a bigger role in the digital marketing mix, so we are exposing your brand to more people more often. We can achieve this across social and other digital platforms like Display & YouTube.

Nothing lasts forever, so this is an ideal time to plan. The good news is, we can help you do this! 

Coauthored by Ashley Byers (Head Of Social), David Kennedy (Creative Strategy Director), and Beth Carr (Social Media Specialist)