Navigating Apple’s New App “Nutrition Labels”
Author: Brenden Denver
February 3, 2021
To further elevate its status among data protection and privacy advocates, Apple is dramatically changing how and what user information is shared with apps. Apple’s latest iOS changes are another step forward in growing customer trust but they’re also being met with apprehension by digital marketing professionals.
Within its App Store, apps must disclose what information is being gathered and used before users download their app. Known as ‘nutrition labels,’ Apple is requiring apps to be fully transparent on their intentions and more specifically for tracking. Once a user has downloaded a new app, a privacy and tracking prompt will appear for the user to allow tracking or to deny it entirely.
This is especially troubling for Facebook, which has been at the forefront of labeling Apple’s efforts as a hindrance to small businesses that rely on online revenue. Citing the recent strains, brought on by the pandemic, Facebook presents their argument as more of an attack on business rather than a speed bump.
Why is Facebook causing such a fuss? Their objections to Apple’s new iOS changes are certainly fair. For marketers and businesses supporting themselves on a multitude of apps, information that helped generate revenue could be completely unattainable. With most users browsing and shopping online from a mobile device, these changes will take a large bite out of what information can be used to better target potential customers, optimize campaigns to best increase their market budget efficiency, and leverage findings to reach new customers. The only saving grace for Facebook and other apps is that this data collection prompt is a choice. So, if a user decides that sharing their information would be beneficial to their experience on the app, the data collection and targeting will remain unchanged. However, the chances of this user sentiment are bleak.
Despite their lobbying, Facebook has no option but to adhere to the new Apple guidelines. To help alleviate the trouble marketers and businesses will confront through the new iOS, Facebook has detailed some solutions. Facebook will look to change its process of conversion tracking by aggregating events, called Aggregated Event Management (AEM). This will still delay event reporting for advertisers but offers some insight into what data can be utilized.
So, what can Facebook advertisers plan on seeing soon? Well, reporting may be one of the biggest and most obvious. With the restrictions imposed by the new iOS, advertisers will be limited in how to report on and optimize towards performance. Real-time events will no longer be available for advertisers to make quick and data-driven marketing decisions. Some key data may even be delayed for up to three days or more, while details on user demographics (age, gender, locations) will be removed entirely.
Methods of ad creation and targeting will change as well. Advertisers will no longer be able to use ad reach and frequency as bidding options and will have to revert to auction bidding only. Targeting of these ads will also be impaired. As users opt-out of sharing their data, advertisers will see audiences shrink in size and limit the available customers that can be reached. As a result of this, ad targeting will be broader and become less efficient.
Despite these changes, Facebook will remain an extremely valuable and pivotal facet of marketing strategy. As advertisers continue to learn more about this ongoing situation, there are many actions that businesses, online advertisers, and app advertisers can take to make this transition less painful. LiveArea’s Performance Marketing team can help you navigate these changes. Just drop us a line.
Brenden Denver is a Paid Search Marketing Expert and Analyst in LiveArea.