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    The iOS14 series: Disadvantages of using SKAdNetwork

    Adriana Ullivarri
    Posted by Adriana Ullivarri

    Since Apple announced that 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 changes worth it, regardless of the uncertainty?

    Disadvantages on SKAdNetwork

    • Targeting & retargeting: Regarding Targeting IDs, the biggest unknown is: Will Apple reset all IDFAs when iOS14 is installed? There is no official confirmation regarding this, but if they do they'll set all existing iOS audiences useless.

    • Limited granularity - Tracking data will be limited on campaign level. Apple will only allow 100 campaigns per ad network.

    • SKAdNetwork post-install measurements - lack of events granularity and window time of events that can be measured.

    • Delay between the moment installs occur and when they are reported; making it challenging for optimization in real time. Some testas has shown a delay of more than 48 hours.

    • Any company promoting an app and using its own SKAdNetwork ID will get postbacks from SKAdNetwork (click-based) and/or MMP (Click-based, Post-view, Fingerprinting, etc.) The challenge is to deduplicate SKAdNetwork's and MMPs’ postbacked installs.

    • Fingerprinting, has always been an alternative probabilistic system to use for ad networks, MMPs and others, when the IDFA wasn't available.  But now, Apple has confirmed they won't accept this method either. If you are an app you could find yourself unable to release an update on the Apple store.


    Changes can be difficult to adjust to in the beginning. But we can't help but wonder, that new opportunities are coming!

    In the meantime we recommend you to rely both on the SDK of your MMP and the SKAdNetwork ID of your DSP. Incidentally, if you want to run any test, mediasmart is ready to test 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.



    Topics: app promotion, privacy, ios14, consent