What Does the Release of iOS 15 Mean to Mobile App Advertisers? | Article – HSBC VisionGo

Every time when Apple releases updates, it causes great deal of ripples and discussions across the advertising and marketing industry.
Marketing  ·    ·  4 mins read

Every time when Apple releases updates, it causes great deal of ripples and discussions across the advertising and marketing industry. Apple’s movements require ready adaptability from marketers to stay competitive in the game. 

There has been enormous amount of conversations since June 2021 after Apple announced the plan of iOS 15 update at its annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC21), discussing potential impacts it brings to the marketing world (and more specifically, mobile app marketing) when it’s officially released during this autumn. 

Given the complexity and multi-dimensional outcomes it could result in, this article aims to map out a holistic view without going too much into technical details, for brands to revisit and think about their approach to adapt on different levels – from app development to app marketing.    

Set aside the major updates iOS 15 brings to end users, mobile app advertisers are encouraged to look at the following four key areas amid the new OS changes to adapt their app strategies and allocate resources: 

  1. SKAdNetwork enhancements
  2. App store variant pages
  3. The removal of “uninstall tracking”
  4. App privacy reports

 SKAdNetwork enhancements

There are many jargons that are trying to explain what exactly is “SKAdNetwork”. Simply put, SKAdnetwork works similarly as an API, it is primarily a mechanism and framework to help advertisers determine the efficacy of their ad campaigns while increasing the privacy of Apple users. It shares conversion data with advertisers without revealing any user-level or device-level data. SKAdnetwork was first introduced by Apple at the iOS 14 launch and is operated by Apple. 

During the time of iOS 14, the SKAdnetwork only supported postbacks* being sent to ad networks (in this context, Apple). In the new iOS 15, however, SKAdNetwork will support sending a copy of the winning postback directly to the advertisers or mobile measurement partners, allowing more flexibility for advertisers to study and analyse their app performance. Developers can also opt-in to receive postbacks by specifying a server endpoint in their app’s Info.plist.   

Our expert team at GoGoChart is well versed in this aspect to give timely suggestions to clients in response to the fast evolving technical landscape of iOS. 

*Postback is a message or information exchange between servers, it is triggered to take place when a user takes some sort of action on a website, network, or app. In the context of mobile app marketing, postback refers to an action, it happens and lets ad networks know when an install or in-app event occurs. 

App store variant pages

iOS 15 provides two new features that will allow developers to customize their product pages:

  1. Split-testing of up to three variants of app assets, which include but are not limited to: icons, screenshots, app preview videos and so on. It will then automatically sets the best variant as the default.
  2. Unique URLs that link directly to up to 35 different versions of a product page, each of which can be extensively customized. 

This generally means more room for advertisers’ creativity to be tested to form the most effective app promotion tactics. GoGoChart team is experienced in generating quality app store content and creative ideas for clients to optimize their app presentation that resonates with audiences, which ultimately lead to better install rates.

The removal of “uninstall tracking”

In the previous setup, apps were able to track user uninstalls for potential retargeting. It is regarded as an abuse to the push notification system and is explicitly forbidden in developer policies by both Apple and Google. These policies have not been widely enforced in the past though.

In the new iOS 15, Apple further pushes its efforts to exterminate this kind of “creepy tracking” by removing the developer tools that help track user uninstalls. 

App Privacy Report

This is a new feature and option available for end users, while it is important for advertisers to stay informed with what consumers’ latest preferences are to make timely and sensible decisions to engage customers in a more understanding manner.

With App Privacy Report, users can see how often each app has used the permission they’ve previously granted to access their location, photos, camera, microphone, and contacts during the past seven days. Users can also find out with whom their data may be shared by seeing all the third-party domains an app is contacting.

Conclusion 

Users’ privacy has always been at the core of Apple and app developers’ seesaw. Although it’s challenging for marketers to learn and adapt swiftly under the ever-changing privacy policies to keep the app engaging and active for customers, it is more sustainable for the entire app ecosystem if advertisers can form more thorough knowledge towards how ad networks function, and come up with app promoting methods with real effectiveness. For years, GoGoChart’s role is to help brands cater holistic strategy for their apps and deliver with strong execution capability, backed by our leading technology and in-depth industry know-how.    

In the upcoming article series, we will answer some frequently asked questions by brands when activating their mobile marketing campaigns, stay tuned. 

Need some help on app visibility & app installs at app store platforms? 

Contact us to enjoy an initial app/business audit free of charge with an accompanying consultation. 

Contact us:
Email: info@gogochart.com
Whatsapp: +852 6319 2613

References:

https://developer.apple.com/documentation/storekit/skadnetwork/receiving_ad_attributions_and_postbacks

https://developer.apple.com/documentation/storekit/skadnetwork/configuring_an_advertised_app

https://www.singular.net/blog/ios-15-and-skadnetwork-postbacks-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

https://www.appsflyer.com/glossary/postback/ 

https://www.kochava.com/glossary-skadnetwork/ 

https://www.publift.com/blog/what-is-skadnetwork 

https://digiday.com/media/apple-skadnetwork/ 

https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/ios-15-will-your-iphone-run-apple-latest-os/ 

https://www.yellowheadinc.com/blog/how-will-the-ios-15-update-affect-marketing/ 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-22/now-apps-can-track-you-even-after-you-uninstall-them 

https://mashable.com/article/how-to-turn-on-apple-app-privacy-report 

About GoGoChart

GoGoChart is the first Apple Search Ads certified agency in Hong Kong, its mission is to become the world’s leading mobile marketing technology brand. Since its establishment in 2016, the company has helped over 2,000 brands in more than 60 countries optimize and promote their apps. it has also evolved into an all-rounded digital marketing service provider after winning trust from thousands of brands. Key clients of GoGoChart include Fortune 500 companies, blue chip listed companies and SMEs from the finance, consumer, ecommerce and gaming sectors. 

GoGoChart was awarded the 2019 Hong Kong Technology Fast and Rising Star Program organized by Deloitte, the Best Use of Mobile Online Campaign (inaugural season) by Interactive Advertising Bureau Hong Kong (iAB HK) in 2021, and officially became an Affiliated Member of The Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies in 2021. The company is headquartered in Hong Kong and has additional regional teams situated in the Philippines and mainland China.

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