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WWDC 2022 Recap: What’s New for Cell Development?


Apple’s annual Worldwide Builders Convention (WWDC) concluded on June 10, 2022. Now it’s time to cowl the newest about all the things Apple introduced, together with enhancements to SKAdNetwork and the newest on AppTrackingTransparency compliance.

Why is WWDC such an essential occasion?

We are able to’t actually speak about WWDC with out reminding ourselves of its latest historic context.

In 2020, we acquired iOS 14, AppTrackingTransparency, SKAdNetwork, and the start of the IDFA Apocalypse. That was adopted the subsequent yr by iOS 15 with Personal Relay and Disguise My E-mail. Not as large, but additionally not insignificant. Each have been disruptive.

The stakes for modifications like these should not small. When Apple makes bulletins like these, it’s disruptive to all of us right here on this planet of cellular advertising… nevertheless it additionally actually strikes markets and impacts the trade in very unpredictable methods.

For instance, Apple’s personal advert community, Apple Search Advertisements, has been thriving ever for the reason that launch of iOS 14.5. In the meantime, rival advert networks have been capped by this privateness push. After two years in a row of this, it is sensible that all of us begin twitching a bit each time Apple has a product announcement.

Going into this yr’s WWDC, many people in cellular anticipated one thing disruptive, nevertheless it looks as if Apple determined to take the yr off for privacy-related bulletins.

WWDC 2022 scorecard 

This isn’t to say there was a scarcity of fascinating developments. To summarize the updates of be aware:

✖ No main privateness bulletins

✔️SKAdNetwork 4.0 is right here! 

✔️Clarification on AppTrackingTransparency coverage

✔️Adjustments to pasteboard entry

No main privateness bulletins

indication of what Apple considers essential every year is no matter makes it into the primary WWDC Keynote at first of the primary day. Nothing associated to promoting or privateness made that keynote this yr, not like the final two years.

It’s possible you’ll be questioning: What might one thing large have regarded like? One main idea was that Apple may lengthen iCloud+ Personal Relay to cowl app visitors, probably mixed with an answer just like SDK Runtime (which was launched as a part of Privateness Sandbox on Android earlier this yr). This may have additional masked IP addresses, technically blocking AppTrackingTransparency workarounds like fingerprinting. (For a deeper rationalization of how a system like this might have labored, learn this weblog put up.) 

Nonetheless, Apple didn’t try this this yr. Possibly in iOS 17…

SKAdNetwork 4.0

In case you get your annual kicks out of WWDC chaos, this is perhaps mildly disappointing thus far. However there’s an unambiguously optimistic growth: We’re getting a brand new model of SKAdNetwork! 

We’ll go into all the small print subsequent, however SKAdNetwork 4.0 is a serious enchancment and will make SKAN much more usable for many apps.       


Crucial message is that extra knowledge sign is now accessible in additional conditions, based on the newest research. It may be mentioned that earlier variations of SKAN have been considerably over-engineered (such because the rolling timer), and the brand new model reduces the system’s complexity.

With V4, SKAN is lastly turning into a system that feels prefer it is perhaps applied and used – basically what all of us desired from V1. It’s not but good, nevertheless it’s an enchancment from the previous. It’s encouraging to see Apple persevering with to take a position right here.

What are the SKAdNetwork enhancements coming in model 4.0? 

  1. A number of conversions – Now you can rise up to 3 postbacks despatched at predetermined intervals — no must cope with sophisticated extensible timer logic!
  2. SKAdNetwork attributions for net – Attribution is now supported for web-based adverts that direct to the app’s App Retailer product web page.
  3. Hierarchical supply identifiers –  Apple is changing the marketing campaign ID  with a brand new parameter named the supply identifier, which is 100x bigger and meant to be extra versatile than marketing campaign ID. As much as 4 digits are actually supported, relying on privateness thresholds. 
  4. Hierarchical conversion values – Addition of  ‘coarse’  and ‘fantastic’ grained conversion worth variants.

Historical past of SKAdNetwork

  • SKAN 1.0 (iOS 11) | Earlier model of the Matrix: Model 1 got here manner again in 2017, with iOS 11. We are able to consider this because the earlier model of the Matrix — it is perhaps referred to as SKAdNetwork, nevertheless it actually didn’t operate very like the present system. For all sensible functions, we will ignore it.
  • SKAN 2.0 (iOS 14) | Starting of the Fashionable Period: The primary ‘trendy’ model of SKAdNetwork was 2.0, launched together with ATT in 2020. Since then, Apple has made just a few incremental enhancements to the system. For instance, in SKAN 2.2, they added assist for view-through attribution.
  • SKAN 3.0 (iOS 14.6 – 15): In model 3.0, Apple added assist for postbacks to advert networks that didn’t win last-touch attribution credit score. Additionally in 3.0 (a bit later), Apple made it potential for advertisers (and MMPs, on advertisers’ behalf) to get a duplicate of the SKAN knowledge instantly, as an alternative of relying solely on advert networks to gather and ahead all the things.

All these enhancements have been welcome, however largely incremental and never addressing among the systemic points that prompted essentially the most ache for advertisers with SKAN.

With SKAN 4.0 (iOS 16), that’s lastly beginning to change.

Introducing: Crowd Anonymity

Earlier than we soar into the small print of what’s new in SKAdNetwork 4.0, we have to outline a key idea: Crowd Anonymity. That is Apple’s time period, and it’s essential due to the way it compares with earlier variations of SKAN.

Previously, SKAdNetwork 4.0 had the idea of a ‘Privateness Threshold’. There was just one, and passing this threshold concerned getting sufficient exercise in your marketing campaign that Apple felt assured you wouldn’t be capable of reverse-engineer something about a person person from the info. In case you handed the brink, you’d get extra knowledge in regards to the set up and conversion course of. In case you didn’t, SKAN would withhold some knowledge parameters. The standards and minimums of this threshold have been at all times secret.

In SKAN 4.0, the standards and minimums are nonetheless secret, however now they’re additionally extra subtle. As an alternative of 1 threshold to move, now there are three completely different teams. Apple describes these as both much less/extra/most, or low/medium/excessive. The essential concept is that they progressively reveal extra granular knowledge because the variety of customers within the cohort will increase. Maintain these three ranges in thoughts as a result of they’re essential for a number of of the brand new enhancements.

A number of conversions

In earlier variations of SKAdNetwork, you bought a single conversion postback. That was it. Only a single sign, ever. A fancy system of timers made it potential to delay the postback till the person had time to make a conversion, however that got here at the price of ready longer to get any details about the set up.

In SKAdNetwork 4, now you can rise up to 3 postbacks — and they’re despatched at predetermined intervals, which implies no must cope with sophisticated extensible timer logic.

Right here’s the way it works:

  • As soon as the person opens the app for the primary time, you register with SKAN for attribution. That’s the identical because it has at all times been.
  • Two days after this registration, the primary postback is shipped.
  • Then, the second postback is shipped after seven days. 
  • The third postback is shipped after 35 days.

This enables for extra time to gather indicators about what the person is doing after the set up, which solves one of many greatest painpoints with SKAN thus far. It’s essential to notice that every postback is just despatched for those who make an replace conversion worth name throughout the given window. This implies in case your person installs the app after which doesn’t open it once more for 3 weeks, you’d get postbacks one and three, however NOT two. 

It’s additionally essential to notice that every postback can have a parameter specifying which place it’s in, however there received’t be any option to tie collectively the successive postbacks from every person. In different phrases, it’s all nonetheless aggregated knowledge — simply extra of it. 

Additionally, simply in case it wasn’t already clear, this enchancment means no extra looping timers! This can be a welcome growth because the looping timers have been complicated and tough to work with.

SKAdNetwork attributions for net

One other enchancment is SKAdNetwork assist for net adverts. Older variations of SKAN didn’t assist this, and it was a big gap. With 4.0, SKAdNetwork will assist attribution for web-based adverts that directs customers to the marketed app’s App Retailer product web page.

Along with PCM (Personal Click on Measurement), this implies Apple is slowly protecting extra of the varied conversion flows in a typical app advertising technique. There are nonetheless loads of gaps, however at the least they’re regularly making progress.

Facet be aware: SKAdNetwork for non-ads?

This new net performance may imply that clicks for non-ad channels might be thought of by SKAdNetwork. That is all nonetheless theoretical, however whether it is potential, this may occasionally lastly unlock some prospects for SKAN assist of non-ad advertising actions like net sensible banners and e mail advertising. If that’s the case, this might be an enormous alternative as a result of it might remedy a serious blind spot with SKAN that presently makes it unimaginable to know if an advert is falsely getting credit score for conversions that have been truly pushed by different channels.

Hierarchical supply identifiers 

Subsequent, let’s talk about the brand new hierarchical knowledge parameters in SKAN 4.0, beginning with the supply identifier.

In earlier variations of SKAN, we had the marketing campaign ID. This was a two-digit parameter, which meant there have been 100 prospects. The complete parameter was at all times despatched again within the SKAN postback. Now, Apple is changing the marketing campaign ID with a brand new parameter referred to as the supply identifier. They’ve renamed it as a result of this new parameter is 100x bigger and meant to be extra versatile than simply marketing campaign IDs. 

The digits can be utilized nevertheless the advertiser/advert community determines. This marketing campaign/location/placement scheme is only one instance. 

It now helps as much as 4 digits, and the quantity returned within the postback will rely on the Crowd Anonymity stage:

  • If the Crowd Anonymity stage is ‘low’, then the primary two digits are returned. That is the way in which issues labored beforehand.
  • On the ‘medium’ stage, three digits are returned. 
  • On the ‘excessive’ stage, all 4 digits can be found.

Hierarchical conversion values 

Let’s now cowl the hierarchical conversion values. In earlier SKAN variations, the conversion worth was a six-bit quantity, which means 64 complete choices. It was solely potential for this quantity to be elevated — for those who set it to 10 (for instance), there was no manner you may reset it again to 9 once more.

In SKAN 4.0, there are literally two completely different values:

  • High-quality-grained, which is identical because the six-bit worth that already existed.
  • Coarse-grained, which is a fundamental low/medium/excessive vary.

Solely considered one of these values is returned, and which one you’ll obtain is managed by postback place and Crowd Anonymity stage. There’s additionally no technical correlation between these two values, whichmeans each may be set at any time to any worth the developer wishes (e.g., each ‘excessive, 2’, and ‘low, 61’ are legitimate mixtures).

And sure, in SKAN 4.0 the values can each enhance AND lower.

Let’s take a look at an instance the place the 2 conversion values is perhaps set contained in the app to ‘excessive’ and 42, respectively:

  • If the Crowd Anonymity stage is ‘low’, then  neither model of the conversion worth is returned. That is equal to prior variations of SKAN the place the only privateness threshold was not met.
  • On the ‘medium’ stage, the coarse worth is returned. 
  • On the ‘excessive’ stage, the fantastic stage is returned.

It’s essential to notice that solely the first postback is eligible for the fine-grained postback. Which means that the conversion worth in postback one might be null, coarse, or fantastic, relying on the Crowd Anonymity stage. Postbacks two and three can solely be coarse or null, by no means fine-grained.

What occurs subsequent with SKAdNetwork?

Whereas SKAN 4.0 is an enchancment — with assist for a number of postbacks, net adverts, and easier timer settings — gaps nonetheless exist. Listed below are just a few of the highest objects we’d nonetheless very very like to see, maybe in SKAdNetwork 5.0:

  • True assist for non-paid channels (owned and earned).
  • Deep linking.
  • Re-engagement adverts (app is already put in). 

The total documentation for SKAdNetwork 4 has not but been printed, so some particulars stay unclear. For instance, we don’t know what the introduction timeline appears to be like like. It will not be launched concurrently iOS 16.0 this fall. No matter occurs, in actuality, earlier SKAdNetwork variations can be with us for some time. 

Moreover, there’s no indication that SKAN 4.0 can be retroactive to earlier variations of iOS, so put together for extra fragmentation. We’ll be coping with fragmented knowledge — coming from numerous variations of SKAN and different attribution methodologies — for a very long time. That’s why it’s extra essential than ever to depend on trusted advisors (like your MMP) to make sense of all this chaos.

What about ATT enforcement?

Apple’s Discover App Monitoring Transparency tech session contained some fascinating particulars. Whereas there’s nothing fairly as clear as a ‘declaration of struggle’ on any explicit conduct or exercise, a number of issues are nonetheless particularly addressed (at the least, particular in the case of Apple).

Right here’s what we discovered this yr at WWDC about AppTrackingTransparency coverage interpretation, compliance, and enforcement: 

  • ‘Monitoring’ is not only about IDFA. ATT applies to all types of promoting monitoring, and it’s not simply IDFA gating (IDFA is just talked about as soon as in the entire session). This was at all times clear within the coverage, however the way in which Apple described it this yr shifted subtly.
  • No separate-but-equal techniques to SKAN. Apple particularly guidelines out workarounds based mostly on processing user-level knowledge however solely outputting aggregated stories. In different phrases, you may’t create ‘separate-but-equal’ techniques to SKAN that work with out person opt-in.
  • Fingerprinting is rarely okay. Fingerprinting is addressed head-on: Apple says it’s by no means allowed. Whereas there aren’t any specific statements about upcoming enforcement plans, it’s not arduous to see this as a remaining warning.

 Wish to guarantee compliance and worth inside ever-changing privateness insurance policies (like AppTrackingTransparency)? If sure, you’ll be well-equipped with Department’s SafeTrack™ — the most effective monitoring compliance performance to have in your armory. With this resolution, you may relaxation assured that your advert hyperlinks are designed to behave in full compliance with all relevant platform insurance policies for advert monitoring, together with ATT.

Pasteboard entry modifications

Lastly, Apple additionally introduced some enhancements to Pasteboard entry for apps in iOS 16. Apple launched a small paste notification banner in iOS 14, to present customers extra transparency into when apps accessed the pasteboard, however there was nonetheless no permissions requirement. 

Now, extra management for cross-app copy/pasting is right here! In iOS 16, the system offers a brand new, customizable OS-level paste button that confirms the person’s cross-app intent by requiring the person to faucet to be able to paste. Different paste strategies can nonetheless be used, however will now set off a affirmation modal.. As earlier than, builders can use the strategies described in Detecting Patterns of Content material in Pasteboard Gadgets to find out if pasteboard objects match numerous patterns — like net search phrases, URLs, or numbers —  with out notifying the person.

Word: Department’s on-device deferred deep linking resolution, NativeLink ™, makes use of the pasteboard to recollect the person’s vacation spot via the App Retailer set up course of. NativeLink already asks for an opt-in from customers to be able to begin the copy/paste movement, and these iOS 16 enhancements assist our emphasis on buyer opt-in, flexibility and transparency. Our groups are testing the brand new iOS 16 pasteboard performance, and we’re assured these modifications will match nicely with the NativeLink ™  expertise.

What does this imply for the longer term?

The general traits are very clear, and nothing introduced (or not introduced) throughout WWDC 2022 modifications that.

Apple is taking a break from new privacy-related excessive drama this yr, however that doesn’t imply they’re strolling away. Simply see their new advert marketing campaign for proof. Even when Apple doesn’t transfer extra aggressively into ATT enforcement after these WWDC bulletins, we imagine the most effective technique for the way forward for measurement is to embrace the brand new world. It’s suggested to not waste time and vitality making an attempt to squeeze out just a bit bit extra device-level knowledge via workarounds. Apple will inevitably crack down on them, whether or not this yr or subsequent. Gadget-level knowledge goes out of vogue, in favor of aggregated reporting. 

Your MMP is your ally. Don’t attempt to go it alone — it’s extra essential than ever to have a cellular measurement accomplice to deal with all of the complexity baked into measuring your adverts. However on the similar time, with new measurement frameworks like SKAdNetwork and Privateness Sandbox for Android, everybody goes to be utilizing the identical set of instruments. You’ll want to consider your MMP on their data and expertise pertaining to your model’s trade. 

Search for different low-hanging fruit. Advertisements have been a budget, accessible choice for a very long time. They aren’t going wherever, however now’s the time to 1) take a look at different advertising channels and a couple of) give attention to plugging the leaks in your funnel as an alternative of simply pouring extra low cost visitors within the high. Now, we’re seeing a basic pattern towards curiosity in different owned and natural channels. These have at all times been guess, and now they’re getting the eye they at all times deserved. This requires a special toolset out of your typical, conventional MMP – so for those who haven’t thought of investing in a cellular linking platform on your owned and earned channels, this can be a nice time to start out.

Keep optimistic! Massive shifts like this are why cellular is such a dynamic area to work. It’s extremely thrilling.

That wraps up our protection of all the things Apple revealed at WWDC this yr, which incorporates modifications to SKAdNetwork and AppTrackingTransparency compliance. To remain up to date on the newest modifications and developments within the ever-changing attribution trade, ensure you’re subscribed to our content material (simply add your e mail under). In case you’d prefer to have an extra dialog with a member of the Department workforce, contact us anytime right here!  

Product Advertising Supervisor

Sam joins Department as a Product Advertising Supervisor after 3+ years at Amplitude Analytics. She brings in depth area and trade data from her time beforehand as a Buyer Success Supervisor, Options Engineer, and Expertise Associate Supervisor. She focuses on serving to companies attain their income targets, scale for progress, and constructing the most effective product for his or her customers.

Jun 21, 2022

Department offers the trade’s main cellular linking and measurement platforms, providing options that unify person expertise and attribution throughout units and channels. Department has been chosen by over 100,000 apps since 2014 together with Adobe, BuzzFeed, Yelp, and lots of extra, bettering experiences for greater than 3 billion month-to-month customers throughout the globe. Study extra about Department or contact gross sales at this time.


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