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Ex-employee: Facebook fears flying blind through Apple’s tracking transparency

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Apple’s planned tracking transparency initiative is causing a lot of excitement in the advertising industry – especially at the advertising giant Facebook. The social network is afraid that it will no longer be able to measure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns properly, like CNBC with reference to former employees who worked in Facebook’s advertising division.

As of iOS 14.5, users must first give their consent for advertising tracking before apps can access the advertising ID of iPhones and iPads. If this is soon often refused or blocked in general, Facebook can no longer reliably record the so-called view-through conversions, explained CNBC. They provide information as to whether users saw an advertising banner and later bought the advertised product without clicking the banner directly.

This is only possible if Facebook can compare the advertising IDs (IDFA) recorded on the devices in order to see that the banner was shown for the respective ID – for example on Instagram or on Facebook itself – and that a purchase was made later , for example in another provider’s shopping app.

Facebook’s Audience Network in particular will be affected by the iOS change, the report said. Facebook itself had already warned of this. The advertising network, via which Facebook delivers banners in third-party apps, only accounts for a manageable part of the group’s total advertising business at 10 percent, as CNBC notes.


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Apple’s tracking transparency initiative hurts smaller advertising companies in particular, Facebook has been opposed to this for a long time and has even started a corresponding advertising campaign. With this, Facebook ultimately wants users to agree to the tracking and at the same time – after many scandals – improve their reputation, according to former employees.

It remains to be seen how the tracking consent will ultimately work; Apple has not yet implemented it. But that is expected in the next few weeks. Other companies such as Snap and Unity also expect their advertising business to be impaired, but Twitter sees it as an opportunity. Apple emphasizes that they want to make advertising tracking visible and give users control over it.


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