Last month, Apple announced a critical change regarding its Identifier for Advertising (IDFA) at the WWDC 2020, which may drastically impact the influencer marketing space.
Now, what exactly is IDFA?
It is an Apple-specific acronym for what the industry calls mobile IDs. In comparison, Androids have the same function under a different term called GAID. The mobile device manufacturers created these mobile IDs so that they can be used to monetize apps by publishers and advertisers.
Apple’s announcement to deprecate the IDFA allows users to gain more transparency over their personal data. This means that every app that uses IDFA must secure one-time user permission to process data for ads. Therefore, the user will have a pop-up for “allowing” or “denying” the user permission, which may prohibit the use of the app if the permission is denied.
The consent is removed from the Settings App from Apple, providing users more transparency on the data they give access to for each individual app. To top that off, publishers only have one opportunity to secure user permissions, which creates a real dilemma for game publishers in the mobile market.
What problem will the deprecation of IDFA create?
The deprecation of IDFA by Apple will change how users will interact with mobile applications. With the mobile market estimated to hit $407.31 billion in 2026, giving in-app consumer consent may drastically affect the entire industry. We can expect that a transformational paradigm shift will occur for mobile advertising, creating new challenges.
From a recent study from TapResearch, experts found out that 57% of people would not click “allow” in an opt-in mechanic that prevents them from accessing the app. Therefore, we are sure that not all users will grant their consent, and performance measures on mobile devices for those who rely on IDFA will be greatly impacted.
How do different companies like Google and Facebook react to IDFA changes?
In reaction to Apple’s decision to deprecate the IDFA, Google will most likely emulate the same and create a similar opt-in mechanic that will give users the transparency to control their user permission access when opening an application. Tech titans like Google, Apple, and Facebook usually apply the same security measures in private control across the board.
It is more or less certain that Apple and Google will introduce an opt-in mechanic for ad tracking and potentially create incentives for users to press “allow”. Free credits within an app that has in-app purchases may be a solution.
On the other hand, Facebook is not as dependent on IDFA due to its own software development kit (SDK), which allows them effortlessly tie and given device to a Facebook ID without IDFA. Yet, it might not be credible in the long-term for Facebook to force users to register an account after installing (especially for games), which may decrease even more the low facebook game app logins.
Acquiring Whatsapp in 2014 may also have been a tactical decision to use the phone numbers acquired from the 1.5 billion Whatsapp users and connect facebook accounts with device numbers.
Are there solutions for Publishers and Advertisers?
The short answer is… Yes. LiveRamp has come up with an Authenticated Traffic Solution that they call ATS. Their product and service provides a durable and privacy-compliant path for publishers and gets consent from individuals.
This helps publishers and advertisers to commercially connect with users while also maintaining the trust and respect of the individuals.
Fortunately, ATS has been tested by many brand partners of LiveRamp, which you can check out here, demonstrating that ATS is being rapidly adopted globally by important parties to secure current revenue streams. Additionally, the solution of LiveRamp has a multichannel functionality, supporting customer journeys on desktop, mobile, and connected TV.
What implications does IDFA have on Influencer Marketing?
1. A Decrease in Influencer Performance
With the IDFA changes made by Apple, Mobile game publishers may see drastic changes in influencer’s performance in converting click (CTR & CPI). Users are less likely to follow through on apps due to the user permission pop-up.
2. Compensation for lack of conversions
As marketing metrics for publishers and advertisers decrease, CPM decreases for influencers are expected to happen to compensate for the lack of conversions that will occur. Fewer users will survive the marketing funnel, but those that do will more likely monetize less due to less targeting precision.
3. Publishers and Advertisers will reach less high-value users
Because fewer users survive the marketing funnel of publishers and advertisers, less high-value users will be reached through influencer marketing.
Influencer Marketing Value
At the end of the day, the IDFA Changes will have a few implications on influencer marketing costs and create a new cost equilibrium. Nonetheless, the industry is an extremely durable marketing channel that has proven to be successful for all types of brands.
It is unimaginable in today’s consumer market to not see influencer marketing as a prime opportunity to target specific audiences to a much greater effect than traditional marketing channels.
Update from the 9th of September – According to the Verge, Apple will delay IDFA changes till the end of the year. In a Apple’s developer update, the tech titan announced a delay in order to give developers more time to comply with the changes.
“We are committed to ensuring users can choose whether or not they allow an app to track them. To give developers time to make necessary changes, apps will be required to obtain permission to track users starting early next year” said the developer note.
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