Apple’s upcoming anti-tracking privacy feature hurts Facebook, which is is particularly worried about losing the ability to track “view-through conversions,” which can be used to infer that an ad on Facebook later spurred a purchase through another site.
The battle focuses on a unique device identifier on every iPhone and iPad called the IDFA [ID for Advertisers]. Facebook and others that sell mobile advertisements rely on this ID to help target ads to users and estimate how effective they are.
With an upcoming update to iOS 14, apps that want to use IDFA will have to ask users to opt in to tracking when the app is first launched. If users opt out, it will make these ads a lot less effective…
Most critically at stake for Facebook is what’s known as view-through conversions. This metric is used by ad-tech companies to measure how many users saw an ad, did not immediately click on it, but later made a purchase related to that ad… Losing that type of measurement could be a big blow for Facebook. If advertisers are unable to accurately measure the effectiveness of their Facebook and Instagram ads, they may feel compelled to shift more of their budgets to other apps and services where they can see the exact return on investment for their ads.
If users opt out of IDFA tracking, all of that personalization Facebook has built will be rendered irrelevant outside of the company’s own apps. In August, Facebook acknowledged that Apple’s upcoming iOS 14 could lead to a more than 50% drop in its Audience Network advertising business.
MacDailyNews Take: If granting users the control that they should’ve always possessed hurts Facebook, then it is Facebook’s business model that is the problem.
Facebook deserves to be hurt in this fashion. They’ve been abusing user data without permission for years.
Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for, in plain English, and repeatedly. I’m an optimist; I believe people are smart, and some people want to share more data than other people do. Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of your asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with your data. — Steve Jobs