Top 3 takeaways for app marketers from Apple WWDC 2023

Apple WWDC 2023 App Marketing

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this year had no shortage of talking points. Apple made a big splash by unveiling a major new product, Vision Pro. But Apple WWDC is about more than headline-grabbing reveals: it’s an incredibly important peek into software updates in iOS, MacOS, and other platforms.

Those of us in the app ad-tech space eagerly tuned into WWDC 2023 hoping for updates and insights relating to privacy and tracking. Over at Dataseat (part of Verve), we delve into WWDC’s three most relevant announcements for app marketers, what you most need to know about them, and how we expect these changes to impact app advertising campaigns, both today and in the future. Here’s a sneak peek into our deep dive of Apple WWDC 2023 for app marketers.

What we know about Privacy Manifests (so far)

Privacy Manifests are here! Apple defines Privacy Manifests as “a property list that records the types of data collected by your app or third-party SDK, and the uses of the collected data.”

According to Apple, “We’re introducing new privacy manifests — files that outline the privacy practices of the third-party code in an app, in a single standard format. When developers prepare to distribute their app, Xcode will combine the privacy manifests across all the third-party SDKs that a developer is using into a single, easy-to-use report.”

The new Privacy Manifests feature is Apple’s answer to a big problem. Privacy Manifests aim to end user profiling and fingerprinting in early 2024. While App Tracking Transparency (ATT) has succeeded in blocking device ID-based tracking, Apple hasn’t yet rolled out a solution to prevent tracking via probabilistic methods (profiling and fingerprinting) – until now.

To find out what platforms and SDKs will be impacted, head over to Dataseat.

Coming Soon: SKAdNetwork 5.0 and re-engagement metrics

Speaking of SKAN, Apple teased a fifth iteration of SKAdNetwork (SKAN) in its Platforms State of the Union. SKAdNetwork 5.0 is due sometime “later this year” in coordination with a new iOS version, though Apple wasn’t more specific. An exciting update for app marketers is Apple’s hint that SKAN 5.0 will support measuring re-engagement.

iOS app developers can soon leverage Private Relay

For iCloud+ subscribers who opt in, Private Relay helps protect users’ privacy by obscuring IP addresses. What’s new? App developers can soon reap the benefits of Private Relay in their apps.

Like Privacy Manifests, implementing Private Relay will make it harder to create user profiles and track users through their IP addresses. However, because Private Relay is an optional feature for users, many apps that rely on fingerprinting aren’t likely to pursue it. Comparatively, the impact of increased access to Private Relay is expected to be less significant than that of Privacy Manifests.

What should app marketers do now that Apple WWDC 2023 is over?

For us, the implications of these three takeaways from WWDC 2023 mean a shift in priorities:

  1. SKAdNetwork is no longer a nice-to-have. All app marketers working with iOS need to build familiarity with SKAdNetwork, both for campaign measurement and optimization.
  2. Contextual targeting is the present and future of app marketing. To minimize the campaign impact from fingerprint deprecation, app marketers need to prioritize contextual targeting and SKAdNetwork measurement in 2023.

There’s never been a better time for marketing teams to transition to using SKAN 4.0. SKAdNetwork 4 is increasingly available in traffic, and SKAdNetwork 5 is approaching quickly.

Dataseat’s expertise in SKAN, contextual targeting, and mobile marketing helps app developers and marketers acquire new users, monetize, and engage. Interested in learning more? The Dataseat team is here to help.

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