This is what Apple actually changed: it’s a new permission dialog, just like what users already see for push notifications, location data, and more.
But unlike those permissions, Apple clearly has an ‘opinion’ on this one.
If you’re responsible for a mobile app, the top thing in your mind right now should be ‘okay, what do I need to do?’
Let’s start with some actionable resources:
Initial reaction from the mobile industry
So far, most of the players have been scrupulously careful to say as little as possible of substance. The thinking is probably this: if Apple’s playing a game of musical chairs, no one wants to be the first to stand up.
For those of you working with one of the traditional mobile measurement partners, here’s a round-up of the public statements so far:
AppsFlyer is reaching out to everyone (including Apple) for discussions on what the future of the attribution industry will look like.
Adjust has laid out the options they see for the future of mobile attribution, but they don’t seem particularly enthusiastic about any of them, and highlight that there are still a lot of unknowns to figure out.
- An update from Adjust on Apple’s user privacy changes
- Mobile measurement in iOS 14: Four possible scenarios
Kochava was the last MMP to make a public statement, and it’s honestly a bit light on details. With their focus on data resale (i.e., with the Kochava Collective), which Apple seems to view as particularly toxic, I imagine there are some serious conversations going on in Sandpoint, Idaho right now.
Singular is betting big on an integration with Apple’s updated
SKAdNetwork proposal. Given their existing focus on data ingestion, this isn’t a big surprise.
- Singular announces first-to-market SKAdNetwork support to replace the IDFA
- IDFA iOS 14 FAQ: What’s true, what’s fake, and what’s total fantasy
- SKAdNetwork 101: What is it? What does it mean for you?
Outside of MMPs, the industry reaction so far has been remarkable mostly for its absence: there have been a few blog posts from miscellaneous companies like Button and LiveRamp, but that’s about it. What everyone is really waiting for at this point is more official clarification from Apple.
So…what is SKAdNetwork?
Apple does have a proposal for something to replace the IDFA. It’s called
SKAdNetwork, and a version of it has been around for several years now.
It’s elegant, in a very Apple-esque way. But just like Apple’s glistening spaceship-shaped HQ — which has an ongoing issue with employees getting injured by walking into glass walls they literally can’t see — it comes across as something designed and built inside an echo chamber by a team with very little hands-on experience outside of Apple Park.
SKAdNetwork becomes the industry standard, it means the end of device-level attribution data on iOS. That’s clearly Apple’s objective, but nobody has any idea what that future would look like.