Apple IDFA impact on Mobile Marketing

Apple IDFA impact on Mobile Marketing

WWDC 2020 has rolled out many possibilities for transformation, which includes establishing its privacy policy. Here comes a new IDFA with a twist in handling customer data which will make it more challenging for advertisers to track customer information. Apple rolled out a new way of handling IDFA with a mission to avoid misuse of customer data. 

Here are a few main aspects to consider when iOS 14 is rolled out:

  • – Apple is not taking away IDFA completely, rather it will require explicit user consent
  • – In case if IDFA is not accessible, SKAdnetwork will provide some insights

However, there are a lot more factors that will change due to the new IDFA policy. 

Let’s have a deeper look at it!

IDFA – a deeper look at how this is utilized by marketers 

An identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) is a random and unique device identifier tag assigned to a user’s device by Apple. Advertisers have benefited for a long time through this feature as it is used to track user data without disclosing a person’s identification. With the launch of iOS 14, advertisers will no longer have this advantage, as Apple makes IDFA as opt-in for all apps. In short, any app will require user consent before they can utilize the identifier for tracking. 

Similar to Google’s Advertising Identifier (GAID), IDFA helps marketers in quantifying ad spend. For instance, businesses such as Lyft execute user acquisition campaigns to attract more mobile customers, a mobile measurement partner like Singular, Adjust, Kochava, or AppsFlyer support them to connect an ad click with an app installed on a certain device. In a clearer perspective, it utilizes the IDFA to communicate ad networks to find users with similar behavior. There are certain benefits in connecting these: 

Ultimately, businesses like Lyft will know that their ad and their ad networks worked well. 

When a user who installed the app signs up for an account or makes a purchase, Lyft can understand how and where to attribute the outcome of their marketing effort. They can also connect to the Ad Spend 

In terms of user privacy, it is a great move, but this is not good news for mobile marketers. Once the iOS 14 rolls out users can turn off the feature in the settings app that will make it explicitly opt-in for all apps. When an app wants to utilize IDFA, users will see dialogue as shown below:

Apple IDFA

95% of the users won’t prefer to allow apps to track their data across the app platforms. 

New IDFA – a huge impact on the mobile marketing industry

If you wonder how the mobile marketing industry is at risk, here are statistics for you:

– As per the statistics given by AppsFlyer, the mobile install spend is around $80 billion in Q1 2020. 

– The gaming industry accounts for one for the biggest spender. In terms of the app installs, Android accounts double the number(22.5 billion in Q1 2020 )of iOS app installs(9 Billion), but in terms of the spend, the result is reversed. 

– iOS accounts $15 billion apps install spend in Q1 2020 while Android accounts $8.3 billion. 

What do these statistics mean?

  • When it comes to mobile marketing iOS customers are much valuable when compared to Android users
  • In $80 Billion on user acquisition spend, iOS accounts for a major proportion

Due to IDFA change, a major part of the $80 Billion is at risk. However, this doesn’t mean that ads by mobile advertisers will completely come to an end. The job of the advertisers will get challenging because without knowing the effectiveness of their marketing efforts, it will get harder to make marketing decisions.   

Impact of IDFA on Facebook and Google

Apple IDFA

Undeniably the user acquisition spends on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Google will have a huge impact due to IDFA. Typically, these social media platforms possess a higher degree of user data to help marketers to make smarter ad targeting decisions.

Let’s have a deeper look at the methods of how Facebook aids in user acquisition for businesses!

  • App Event Optimization (AEO) helps in finding similar customers that your app already has
  • Value Optimization (VO) helps in identifying people who spend some part of the money in your mobile app.

Similarly, Google Ads can be used to identify users, for the app based on the target return on GoogleAd spend or tROAS. To know whether its ad has worked, it requires post-install data from people acquired through Google Ads. If Apple doesn’t allow it, the job gets more difficult. 

Hence, if Apple puts user consent in front, it will get more difficult for Facebook and Google to track the user behavior in the device after they install it. 

However, both Facebook and Google have their SDK installed in many of the iOS apps, hence they might be able to get data from these means if Apple doesn’t put any restrictions on it. 

Apple’s SKAdNetwork

Apple IDFA

Apple itself makes billions through its Ad network, Apple Search Ads which completely focuses on user acquisition on its App Store. After working on it for so long, Apple came up with SKAdNetwork to know which ad brings what result. However, SKAdNetwork doesn’t compromise the user’s privacy as it lets advertisers know the effectiveness of a particular ad without disclosing the specific device/people’s identification. 


The decision to kill off the IDFA will fundamentally change how mobile measurement companies were thinking. Businesses and Marketers are getting ready to measure their results in this new way after the iOS 14 launch. SKAdNetwork may have the potential to help its users, though not on a wide scale, but to a lesser degree. 



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