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Apple’s ad tracking features are hammering online advertisers’ bottom line

Facebook is really feeling the effects.

Apple store signage selling iphones
Image: Unsplash

When Apple introduced App Tracking Transparency with the release of iOS 14.5, we were all left wondering just how many people would actually let advertisers track them, if they had the choice.

Well, now a new report in Bloomberg, from the mobile app analysis Branch, says that iPhone users are opting-in to tracking only 25 percent of the time.

Ouch. If you’re an advertiser and lose 75 percent of your tracking ability, your ability to sell ad space plummets. Facebook is one of the larger internet advertisers, and it’s being hammered by the App Tracking Transparency feature.

The internet behemoth can’t see how many sales clients are making, which impacts its ability to see if ad campaigns are working. That’s just the surface though, as Facebook can’t reliably drill down into customer data either.

Like most advertisers, it uses purchase histories to understand client markets. The data enabling that is now gone due to Apple’s update, which has meant Facebook is no longer sharing detailed sales information for certain demographic groups.

It’s still too early to tell if this reduced amount of tracking data will continue to impact advertisers’ efficiency.

Data from Branch shows that roughly 75 percent of iPhone users are on iOS 14.5 or later, so have access to Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature. The feature has dropped an average 15 to 20 percent drop in iOS advertising revenue, with some advertisers seeing a staggering 30 to 40 percent drop.

Advertisers are now scrambling to build new tools for tracking users, including features to make up for the loss of tracking, including using data stored on the user’s device to sell advertising to them.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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