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New iOS 17 (iPhone) privacy changes and their impact on your Facebook and Google Ads

Apple’s recent release of iOS 17 brings significant privacy changes that have implications for user tracking and data sharing, particularly affecting platforms like Facebook and Google. However, there is no need to panic! As leaders in digital marketing, we are always on the look for important updates and the latest trends in marketing to find the best ways to keep implementing strategies for your business. In this blog, we will explore the impact of iOS 17 and discuss what to do to smoothly navigate the evolving privacy landscape.

Apple’s iOS 17 introduces Link Tracking Protection (LTP)

According to details released by Apple, their recent release of iOS 17 introduces privacy enhancements that involve stripping user-identifying components from these URLs while retaining non-identifiable parts. This update will introduce Link Tracking Protection (LTP), which automatically removes link trackers from URLs sent via Apple Mail and messages as well as from links in Safari Private Browsing. As a result, user-identifiable IDs like Facebook’s fbclid and Google’s gclid parameters will be removed from links when shared through Messages, Mail, and Safari Private Browsing.

How will this impact marketers and businesses?

Apple boosting user privacy protections could make it more difficult to identify individual users. This means that removing URL parameters could make campaign analytics less reliable. As announced in the Tracking Prevention Policy document, there are practices on the web that Apple does not intend to disrupt but may be inadvertently impacted because they rely on techniques that can also be used for tracking. Some unintended impacts include:

  • Measuring the effectiveness of advertising
  • Improving the security of client authentication
  • Analytics in the scope of a single website
  • Audience measurement

“Like” buttons, federated comments, or other social widgets

This change might impact digital marketing on Facebook and Google, where tracking parameters play a vital role in measuring ad interactions and attributing conversions. With Safari automatically removing tracking parameters that include user identifiers from URLs, marketers may need help in accurately tracking user behavior and measuring ad performance, potentially leading to a loss of valuable data insights. However, it is crucial to note that this removal of parameters with user identifiers is limited to clicks occurring in Safari’s private browsing mode or stemming from Apple Mail or iMessage. Ad interactions outside of these contexts will still have tracking parameters intact, allowing marketers to leverage non-user identifier parameters for data insights.

As a solution for this limitation, Apple will be offering Private Click Measurement ad attribution in Safari’s private browsing mode. Which will allow advertisers to track some conversion metrics even when a user does not want to be tracked. Although, it is not yet clear how accurate this data will be it will likely be similar to modelled conversion data from Google.

Actions to consider

The good thing is that there is always a solution or way to accommodate all changes brought by the latest trends in marketing. To adjust strategies for this update, marketers can take several key actions. Firstly, focus on early customer data collection when users visit websites. Offering value to users can encourage them to willingly identify themselves and provide consent for data collection. Leveraging first-party data identifiers from users who have given consent will be essential for effective marketing and SEO for private schools tracking hits. Embracing alternate attribution approaches will also be crucial. Utilizing a combination of deterministic and probabilistic methods for measurement will become increasingly important to adapt to the changing privacy landscape. Alternative approaches like customer surveys and marketing mix tracking can help accurately measure the impact of marketing efforts.

In conclusion, the iOS 17 privacy changes can cause significant implications for digital marketing on platforms like Facebook and Google. However, as professionals in this area our team at Ibis Studio is always ready to overcome and adapt to the evolving latest trends in marketing. Although Apple’s recent release of iOS 17 is still in beta mode, developers are set to make the official launch in September. In the meantime, we’ll be on the look to smoothly and effectively navigate these changes.