Facebook Advertisers Unexpectedly See Recovery After Apple Mess
This is a paywalled article, but here's the TL;DR: advertisers are starting to spend more on Facebook again because the reporting data is suddenly looking better.
The problem is many aren't really sure why. Here's my guess:
- Part of it is certainly that Meta actually has found ways to rebuild its targeting infrastructure in the year since ATT. This is supported by its top ranking in the latest version of the AppsFlyer Performance Index released this week.
- But that's not the whole story, and a much more important factor is also much more elusive. Eric Seufert offers some thoughts in this Twitter thread, which basically sum up to this: Facebook is finding better ways to claim credit for conversions it has likely been driving all along.
In other words, this is not some magic spell. It's the impact of work Facebook has been doing since last year to bring back data on conversions that it has always driven, but could no longer prove thanks to the limits of SKAdNetwork and AppTrackingTransparency.
In defense of personalized ads (and the free internet)
My biggest concern with personalized ads is that the systems aren’t good enough. Instead of being shown ads for shoes I may like or political candidates that I would seriously consider voting for or donating to, I may get shown irrelevant ads that irritate me and waste my time.
I can broadly concur with this. Over the past two years, I have been shown the same Caviar food delivery ad so many times on Hulu that my wife and I now have a game: we guess how accurately I will be able to nail the first beat of its soundtrack whenever it comes on. And this is despite me not having never ordered food delivery (no, even once — I always choose the pickup option…and yes, I know I'm weird).
It's worth noting this article is written by a product manager working on AI and machine learning at Meta, and you may not agree with every single point. But it's still a well-articulated perspective on the broader costs of demonizing personalized advertising, which often get swept under the rug in public discourse on this subject.
EU negotiators agree new rules to rein in tech giants
It's not official yet, but the EU is getting closer to a major new set of rules that would significantly up-end a lot of things we take for granted in tech.
This is the worst of both worlds, in my opinion because regulators simply can't be expected to understand the nuances well enough to take actions that actually work (anyone else sick of GDPR cookie consent banners?)
That said, Apple is STILL paying €5 million per week to the Dutch antitrust authority, rather than properly implement a ruling there on third-party payment methods.
One can't really blame regulators for losing patience, given the industry is repeatedly proving itself incapable of responsible compromise and self-governance.
Google Play to pilot third-party billing option, starting with Spotify
Yes, this is the mythical 'third-party in-app payment option'.
No, this is not a 'get-out-of-commission-free card'.
The details of this pilot program are not public, but that doesn't mean we're without precedent: Google already offers a similar program in South Korea, and the commission rate is only reduced by 4% for non-Google payment methods.
Privacy & Security
How an Apple privacy update changed Facebook and upended a dog ramp company
Planet Money is one of the most popular podcasts in the world for a very good reason: they do an incredible job of tackling really complex topics to get at the most interesting kernel of the story.
I never expected Planet Money to cover iOS 14 and ATT, but it just happened.
A really good episode that I feel objectivity explores both sides of the situation.
Learn all about data clean rooms for marketers
Data clean rooms (which are already being more snarkily referred to as 'data mud rooms' by some) seem to be suddenly popping up everywhere.
Here is another explainer of the data clean room space from an MMP perspective, this time by Adjust. I haven't heard any rumors that Adjust actually plans to build a clean room product, and even the explainer is going to read like déjà vu after the very similar piece by AppsFlyer (which actually is building a clean room solution) from back in February.
Tips & Techniques
Tip #4 - Making Killer App Store Screenshots
I'm not the biggest fan of spending huge amounts of time on ASO overall, but App Store screenshots are an exception.
This is a great article, and goes beyond just design basics — think of this more like 'positioning advice for your app, in the form of screenshot tips'.
How to Use QR Codes For Easier Login Authentication Across Devices
Keyboards on TV screens are a special kind of torture. Why? Users never, NEVER, prefer to log in this way.
Fortunately, there are solutions that avoid forcing them to do so.
iOS 15.4 Emoji Changelog
If you thought emojis were just cute little bitmap images…I guarantee there is a lot more implementation detail than you ever expected!
Mobile Growth Online
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If you've been following along for the last few months, you know there are two new GAID changes scheduled to kick in for Android on April 1, 2022:
AD_IDpermission. This is really just a behind-the-scenes technical thing, because the permission is auto-granted so long as the right line of new code exists in the app's manifest file (in retrospect, this might be proactive prep work for Privacy Sandbox).
Last week, Google ran what basically works out to a temporary 'pocket veto' on the second of these: this docs page was updated to talk about API 33 (Android 13) instead of API 31 (Android 12).
What does this mean? Both changes are still happening on April 1, but the second one will now apply only to apps built to target Android 13, instead of Android 12. And since Android 13 is still in beta, no app should be targeting it yet.
So, in practice, yes this is a 'delay'…but it's a nuanced one.
If you're interested in a complete summary of the current attribution landscape on Android, including this latest adjustment and what you should do to get ready, take a look at this blog post our team published yesterday.Alex Bauer