The Pursuit Of Privacy

Examining 1 Year Post– ATT (app tracking transparency) Impact on App Marketing

“Ask app not to track/allow” – this prompt ubiquitously appeared on our mobile screens in the last year, empowering consumers to have more control over their data. Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework turned the mobile app space upside down, when it was introduced in April 2021. One year on, the dust has settled to some extent but some challenges remain. Let’s explore a few key insights on how marketers can navigate the privacy changes with efficacy.

The uptake

When the ATT framework in iOS 14 was introduced, the mobile app industry entered into a period of uncertainty. Initially, there was concern that mobile apps would no longer be able to properly measure and optimize campaigns. Over time, this sentiment shifted as the industry embraced innovation to ensure user privacy and adapt to the SKAdNetwork solutions and Non-SKAN measurements.

According to a report by AppsFlyer, globally, 80% of apps have implemented the ATT prompt a year into its enforcement. Games lead the way with 91%, while Health & Fitness apps show a slow adoption at 57%. Despite the high rate of users opted-in to the prompt, we saw a strong recovery in non-organic installs on iOS by 7% YoY.

Through this, we can see that the benefits of showing the prompt far outweigh the risks of not showing it due to any potential user experience (UX) concern. With new data privacy standards largely in place thanks to ATT, the key going forward is to help businesses grow with data-driven collaboration and insights that are privacy-compliant.

Now if we zoom in the numbers to Australia & New Zealand, they tend to be lower. As of May 2022, approximately 66% of apps have implemented the ATT prompt with 41% user opted-in to the prompt. We see that developing countries consented 30%, this is due to users’ more sensitive sentiment towards their data privacy in developed markets.

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The billion-dollar question: How can mobile apps improve their consent rate?

For app marketers, there are few salient strategies that work for increasing the consent rate.

  • Show ATT prompt on 1st launch

The report shows that consent is highest when users launch an app for the 1st time — likely among other in-app notifications shown to users upon launch. The earlier the prompt is shown, the greater an app’s optimization capabilities. Conversely, the later consent is given, the more limited your campaign optimization and the lower your reach due to industry-wide low retention rates.

  • Message non-consenting engaged users to increase IDFA rates

For users who did not consent when shown the ATT prompt, it doesn’t need to be the end of the road. They can still enable tracking at any time in their device’s settings. That said, your users probably don’t know this, so this is your chance to give them a reminder. As with the pre-ATT prompt, it is crucial to show engaged users a post-ATT notification that includes the user benefits of opting in, which will take them directly to their settings for app opt-in.

Testing a post-ATT notification that includes the user benefits of opting in can improve your IDFA rates, especially if you’re in non-gaming.

  • Have confidence in iOS measurement

Mobile attribution and analytics software provides app marketers and developers the information needed to understand how to profitably grow and retain users. Between SKAdNetwork, user-level deterministic attribution, and aggregated probabilistic modeling, the ability to measure iOS campaigns has been retained. When combined with innovative solutions such as predictive analytics and other privacy-preserving measurement frameworks (e.g. incrementally, media mix modeling, data clean rooms), overcoming limited data constraints is much easier.

Final Words for App Marketers & Developers

Our Industry is undergoing a shift to which privacy is becoming an integral part of what users expect from their online experiences. This paradigm shift did not happen overnight -though it felt like it for some after the announcement of iOS14, it began many years ago with COPPA (Children Online Privacy Protection Act) in the 90s. The future is privacy and trust is key in any brand-consumer relationship, and the same principle applies to the ATT prompt.

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