Apple’s IDFA zeroing in iOS 10: What Does it Mean for Mobile Marketers?

Apple new IDFA zeroing technique introduction

The first “victim” is the mobile advertising industry. Read further to learn why.

This September, Apple unveiled the latest version of its operating system for iPhones and iPads, iOS 10. While this is exciting news for gadget users, as the “biggest iOS release ever” offers a new level of security and intelligence, it’s quite troublesome for mobile marketers. The reason is an IDFA zeroing.

iOS 10 Limit Ad Tracking feature

Why the ad market is concerning about the IDFA zeroing?

IDFA (Identifier For Advertisers) is a unique ID for each iOS device that allows advertisers to estimate the number of unique users, serve targeted ads, and measure the success of their mobile campaigns. If this setting is turned off, as it is by default, advertisers are able to collect a lot more of users’ data, including their interest and tastes.

However, when this setting is on, ad specialists can access only IDFA of a device that helps them to reduce the number of times the particular ad is shown to a user. This identifier also allows them to know when a user taps on the ad, and takes an action, like installing an app or signing up for a service.

The iOS 10 update completely changed what IDFA shows to marketers. Now, if a user limits ad tracking, the value of the advertising identifier will be all zeroes instead of a user’s IDFA and a flag.  This has already turned to be an issue for all parties of the mobile industry, including mobile users, developers, publishers, and advertisers.

What are the results?

The new iOS “feature” makes (nearly) impossible for advertisers to optimize the quality of ads, limit the number of times they are shown, find out which ads were efficient, and calculate ROI. Users receive poorly targeted ads again and again. Publishers have hard times getting paid on the results of the ads they display, as they lost the ability to attribute clicks.

There’s not a lot that can be done to improve the situation. Marketers may try to send the industry back to the pre-IDFA age, starting to come up with their own technologies to optimize the quality of ads, and work more closely with their existing and new advertising partners. Or, as an option they may try following steps:

  • Take a look at OpenIDFA, an alternative to IDFA that is being used by some big players in the market;
  • Turn to technology that studies the publicly available identifiers of a device (language, internet service provider, operating system version number, Wi-Fi identifiers, installed keyboards, etc).

If you need help to get in front of the right people in such a complex environment, contact us. GOWIDE  stay in step with trends of the industry, and we are ready to offer our customers a full range of up-to-date services.