Since the beginning of 2021, two major internet players have implemented extensive updates aimed at making wholesale changes to the user experience and, consequently, the world of marketing. In early May, Google made significant changes to its algorithm through the introduction of Google Page Experience, with the goal of offering a better user experience by including the user-friendliness of webpages as an SEO criterion. Therefore, the quality of the user experience on your website will now influence its ranking in Google’s search results. To learn more about this update, check out our blog entry What impact will the Google algorithm update have on your website?
Just a few days earlier, on April 26, Apple implemented the most recent set of changes to its operating system (iOS) with the introduction of Version 14.5. This update includes numerous new features, such as support for game console controllers, the ability to unlock an iPhone with an Apple Watch and App Tracking Transparency, an anti-tracking utility that has garnered a lot of attention and that could lead to significant monetary losses not only for Facebook and Google but also for many SMEs. Would you like to learn more about these important changes? Keep reading for more details regarding the impact App Tracking Transparency will have on your internet marketing activities.
Main elements of the Apple update
From the user’s perspective, the 14.5 update offers numerous novelties and interesting features, including the following:
- The possibility of unlocking your iPhone with your Apple Watch (a workaround solution for facial recognition problems when the user is wearing a mask).
- Support for AirTag to help you track and find important items (like your keys, backpack, wallet, etc.) through geolocation
- Real-time reporting of accidents, road work and speed traps
- Support for game controllers (PS5 and Xbox)
- Improvements and enhancements to 5G and Siri
- Numerous new emoji
- Miscellaneous other changes
The most eagerly anticipated option, however, and the one stirring up the most controversy is without a doubt App Tracking Transparency. Besides being an internet marketing game-changer, it could end up costing Facebook and Google billions of dollars. This is because App Tracking Transparency will enable Apple users to have better control over access to their information and the way it is used. They will have the ability to authorize or refuse targeted advertising from third-party applications by responding to the following automatic prompt: “Allow ‘App’ to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?” As a result, users will have full control over whether they grant permission for apps to track their data. Therefore, it will no longer be possible for them to track you without your knowledge.
The effects of the iOS 14.5 update on your internet marketing
In the interests of promoting greater respect for privacy, the Apple update will have an impact on a multitude of businesses of all sizes (including Facebook and Google) that employ user tracking for purposes of targeted advertising: data marketing. Consequently, the profiles of Apple users, who represent approximately 50 percent of smartphone users in Canada, will be more difficult to ascertain, as their digital personality will be less precise, owing to a lack of collected data. Targeted advertising campaigns are more difficult to measure and quantify. In fact, suppression of Facebook’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), which tracks user behavior by means of a unique identifier attributed to each device, will make personalization more complex, which in turn will make advertising campaigns less effective.
For companies whose income relies on the collection of user data (mobile app developers, mobile game designers, etc.) and those that benefit from online advertising (merchants, media, etc.), this update will surely entail a reduction in their digital revenue.
You should be aware that, according to data from Flurry Analytics, three weeks after the release of App Tracking Transparency, only 14 percent of Apple users worldwide (and only 5 percent in the United States) accepted tracking on other apps or websites for advertising purposes.
Therefore, companies of all sizes will have to change the ways in which they reach potential clients. Rather than depending on third-party data like that originating from Google or Facebook, they will have to transform their digital marketing in order to harvest their own information or better-quality data on internet users (for example, to recover email addresses).
As a business owner, do you use your own data for online advertising campaigns? We’ll discuss this marketing technique in more detail in a future blog entry.
In spite of the restrictions Apple is imposing with App Tracking Transparency, the team at BJMédia will be happy to guide and support your company in its internet marketing efforts. In fact, we’ve implemented new advertising features and custom solutions to help you achieve the best possible performance. So don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more!