Since Apple announced the latest changes on iOS14 included a new way to ensure user privacy; allowing app install attribution but without sharing their IDFA, clients have been reaching out to us to know what exactly they need to do about SKAdNetwork. Are any changes worth it regardless of the uncertainty?
Why should you use SKAdNetwork
We can all agree there is a lot we don't know yet about what's going to really happen. But we do feel that, given the circumstances, you have nothing to lose from ensuring your app supports SKAdNetwork, and a lot to gain.
You will be prepared: If you start using SKAdNetwork you are preparing yourself regardless of what's coming, and that never hurts. If MMPs continue to be allowed by Apple to use fingerprinting to measure conversions in your apps at a user granular level, you can continue working exactly as you may work today and decide not to take SKAdNetwork measurements into account. But if Apple comes down hard on MMPs and enforces the no fingerprinting policies, you will be ready to at least continue to measure campaign performance as it relates to each of your advertising channels.
And, independently of Apple's final practical position on fingerprinting SKAdNetwork may be useful for minimizing attribution fraud. Let's elaborate on this one. Until now, IDFA permissions were an option on the device's settings where users could decide if they opt in or not, but a vast majority didn't even know this system existed. The launch of SKAdNetwork makes it possible to attribute installs while maintaining user privacy; where the Apple store becomes the mediator between Publisher and Advertiser. It is the App Store who will be sending the notification of the install, without any user ID included. So, how could this system prevent attribution fraud? Well, now a cryptographic digital signature is added at the time an impression is served and a click happens, and this same signature is then added to post-backs sent back by the App Store, so that old use cases where bad actors took credit for impressions that were never actually served or clicks that never happened should be eliminated. SKAdNetwork is therefore likely to help reduce some types of attribution fraud such as fake ads or hidden ads, fake clicks, or even click flooding, now that tracking is being done on signed impressions.
Incidentally, if you want to run tests for your app or apps of your clients, mediasmart is ready so, please, get in touch with us!
*Disclaimer: Apple has released the beta iOS14.5. The official release date hasn't been shared, but it will most likely be this Spring 2021.