How is the SKAdNetwork 4.0 rollout going? — part 2
Following up on last issue's recap of SKAN 4.0 support plans, we now have more details from the remaining two MMPs:
- AppsFlyer: comprehensive support planned, though no public release date yet.
- Kochava: SDK and dashboard configuration updates expected by May, with dashboard reports coming later in the year.
Go tell your ad network partners that support is important!
What You Need To Know About Device Fingerprinting
Readers of this newsletter will already be familiar with fingerprinting, especially in the context of mobile app attribution. This is a review of the current 'state of the art' across both web and app, and why it's still such a pernicious problem to address.
May the source be with you: Max profit with SSOT
Single-source-of-truth ('SSOT') solutions are quickly becoming table stakes for MMPs, because they're the least-bad way to deduplicate between the separate silos of SKAdNetwork and device-level data.
In this article, AppsFlyer provides some useful recommendations on how to use these consolidated metrics.
However one thing here alarms me. There are two ways a SSOT can be deployed:
- Provide a deduplicated view of a) SKAN and b) ATT opt-in traffic and owned/earned channel data.
- Provide a deduplicated view of a) SKAN and b) ATT opt-out traffic attributed via fingerprinting.
The latter is a clear violation of Apple's policies, but conclusions like the following make me strongly suspect AppsFlyer is still allowing their customers to do it:
Our research shows that marketers that use an SSOT and run primarily non-SRN campaigns, have discovered that around 62% of their SKAN installs were duplicates. At the same time, marketers that run primarily SRN campaigns uncovered that their SKAN installs duplicates stand at around 18% (given the need for ATT consent).
Mobile Marketing Trends and Predictions That Will Shape 2023: MMP Edition
Aarki collected perspectives from from AppsFlyer, Branch, Kochava, Singular, and Tenjin on the future of measurement (including GAID deprecation and the SKAdNetwork 4.0 release).
What struck me most: how similar most of the reponses actually end up being. We're starting to get a clearer picture of what 'post-privacy measurement' looks like.
Privacy & Security
Meta takes down surveillance-for-hire firms, calls for government action against the industry
If you — like me — can't remember coming across
surveillance-for-hire before, here's the short version: it's an industry that uses unsavory activities (hacking, phishing, spyware, etc.) to secretly track specific people online, typically as a service purchased by government and nongovernment groups than couldn't otherwise build such capabilities on their own.
This the second year that Meta has published a surveillance-for-hire report, and it focuses on the takedown of CyberRoot, a particularly egregious threat actor (and I'm proud that Branch played a key role in this takedown effort!)
Tips & Techniques
Walk the Line: iOS Account Deletion
Since June 30, 2022, any app submission to Apple’s App Store that lets users create an account has also had to provide an easy way for users to initiate the deletion of their account within the app. Sounds good in theory: if you provide data about yourself to a company, you should have a way to delete that data. It’s your data, after all.
…it's what happens next that can get surprisingly complex. This article is by far the best summary I've seen, and involves some almost-on-the-record guidance from Apple that isn't published anywhere else.
World Cup Semi Finals: Mobile app sessions by minute
Pretty neat to see such clear mobile app activity patterns on a national level.
First-Party Data is Coming to Town
“Well, Timmy, if you didn’t want me to see you when you’re sleeping, know when you’re awake, know if you’ve been bad or good, and sell that data to third parties, then you should have checked your privacy settings.”
- Next | Head of Apps — Leicester, UK
- Shop | Growth Marketing Lead — Remote, Americas
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Bloomberg dropped an explosive-sounding report this week: Apple to Allow Outside App Stores in Overhaul Spurred by EU Laws (here's an alternative TechCrunch article, if you aren't a Bloomberg subscriber).
Most of the media is talking about this story like some sort of bombshell scoop, but it really shouldn't be a surprise — the bones of the the Digital Markets Act (the 'EU Laws' referenced here) have been an open secret for a while.
It's good to see progress on this, but I've said it before (more than once) and I'll say it again: this is the worst outcome for pretty much everyone involved. Yes, there are many issues with walled garden app stores, but there are also major benefits (no one really wants a return to the days of Windows 98, when an antivirus scanner was the only thing standing between your computer and total anarchy). The unwillingness shown by Apple and — to a somewhat lesser degree — Google towards engaging in any sort of thoughtful compromise is leading to 'product roadmap by regulation'. And since that is basically how we got into cookie consent banner hell with GDPR, I don't think anyone is going to be thrilled with the outcome this time either.
John Koetsier has a great piece on all the open questions around what this new, multi-store world would look like, but I think the key point is this: the primary driver here is pretty obviously a challenge to the 15-30% commission rate. And we already have a clear playbook — going back years — for how Apple and Google respond in these scenarios: they will give only the bare minimum in concessions necessary to comply with the literal letter of each new law.
These changes will be no different, which means we should expect them to come with UX requirements designed to make things as unappealing as possible…and some other way to collect an equivalent amount in fees. This is scorched earth, trench warfare, and the unfortunate thing is that it's just ultimately harming the broader mobile ecosystem.
PS, barring some unforeseen, apocalyptic event, this will be the final Mobile Growth News of 2022. Thanks for reading, for your thoughtful replies (I respond to all of them!), and for coming along for another year of mobile growth. Happy holidays, and see you all again in 2023!Alex Bauer