Winter is here, but July may bring more clouds for marketers.
This month, Apple and Google are both expected to introduce new privacy changes when they launch new versions of their platforms. With iOS 17 — which will expand to a public beta in July before its official launch in September — Apple will launch Automatically removes link trackers from URLs Sent from links in messages and mail, as well as in Safari’s private browsing. Meanwhile, Google is pushing its own privacy changes by rolling out new APIs to Chrome and launching an 18-month privacy sandmap.
By having Safari 17 Block “Known Trackers and Fingerprints”. Apple will increase user privacy protections and make it more difficult to identify individual users. However, some marketers claim that removing URL parameters makes campaign analytics more reliable. Some of them “Unwanted Influence” Changes may include URL tracking that includes ad sizing, embedded media, social widgets, fraud prevention, bot detection, audience sizing, and funding websites that rely on targeted or personalized ads.
Although it’s unclear how both changes will affect advertising in the coming weeks and months, the updates will be closely watched in an industry that navigates an increasingly complex advertising world. (Apple is offering alternative tools like personal click measurement, but some adtech experts see the option as too complex or insufficient to drive long-term adoption.)
“I’m sure because I’m not a website analytics provider,” one ad tech executive who works closely with Apple told DigiDay.
It may take some time for marketers to see what effect the changes will have, and the impact is not expected to be as large as Apple’s other recent efforts, such as IDFA. However, when marketing agency Knak Have you tried Apple’s changes?Removing URL trackers has been found to lead to errors when viewing a website.
Michael Monaco of Kepler Marketing Analytics and Insights said the total number of users affected by Apple’s changes is not a “huge” number. However, he said, this is another reason why user-centric measurement is not sustainable beyond existing customers or first-party data. (A third of US users use Safari, and 20% of those use Private Browsing.)
“As cookies are being discontinued and privacy solutions are being rushed, the metrics and analytics provided by Apple and Google are not yet sufficient to provide insight into the return of our marketing efforts without additional steps,” Monaco said. “For advertisers who continue to rely on user-based measurement, this is just one of a thousand cuts that make measurement difficult.”
Others are less worried and more optimistic. Nirish Parsad, head of Tinuti’s new technology practice, says feedback loops have been around for some time already, but it hasn’t been the “nail in the coffin” yet.
Although the loss of tracking links can lead to obscurity, the changes seem to be in line with what users want. He also pointed out that this is not the first time the industry has gone through a process of change – the transaction has survived before the digital age.
“As many of the ways we use to get feedback disappear, we need to look deeper into the source to see where we’ve done advertising and what’s happened,” says Parsad. “That’s connective tissue.”