One of the biggest changes in iOS 14.5 is the transparency of app tracking. It is a feature that is both consumer friendly and controversial as it ensures that developers have to seek explicit permission from users before crawling them through apps and websites for ad targeting.
It’s such a big change that Apple has its own dedicated support page for developers with questions about how it should be implemented and what exactly is allowed.
However, free app developers are bracing for the change as you could see a serious shake up in your ability to monetize. Unsurprisingly when given the option to allow or block tracking, the vast majority choose the latter. According to AdWeek, up to 68% of users are expected to take advantage of the feature when it launches, which could have a serious knock-on effect on the economics of free apps.
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That analysis comes from ApplicationsFpainted, a mobile marketing company that tracked 300 apps on 2,000 devices, which is obviously a small fraction of the roughly 2 million apps and ~ 900 million iPhones in active use. But if those numbers are real or even optimistic, dating app Bumble said in its S-1 filing that it expects subscription to be 20% or less, then it could be a tough road for apps that rely on ads to endorse. your development teams.
A report by analyst Eric Seufert in January for Mobile Developer Memo estimated that Facebook could receive up to 7% of revenue from Apple’s app-tracking transparency feature.
But the impact the change will have in terms of real income is up in the air. Certainly, there are warning signs from the big advertising companies; a Advertiser perceptions report suggesting that around 58% of companies are looking to shift the budget from Apple’s ecosystem to Android and connected TVs. However, it is important to note that app tracker transparency is not the same as ad blocking.
Ads are still allowed, it’s just that they can’t be customized based on your history with other apps or websites. Whether that will have an impact on clicks and ultimately revenue will depend on how smart contextual advertising is. Just because an application does not know the websites you visit does not mean that it cannot guess your preferences and interests based on the application you are using.
However, the long-term effects of the change are unclear. A loss of revenue may encourage more app creators to include in-app purchases, or even have their apps paid for up front.
While iOS 14.5 doesn’t have a firm release date yet, we know it’s imminent, in part because Apple has started rejecting apps that don’t adhere to the new tracking rules. It’s likely this month, but it may take a while for app designers to adapt to the new tracking preferences of iPhone users.
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