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Jun 6 2022
For the past two years, everyone in the mobile marketing industry has been talking about Apple's deprecation of IDFA after iOS 14. It introduces a lot of limitations, affects the entire industry, and makes it more difficult to track users. Now it's Google's turn.
Over the past few years, new privacy laws have frequently emerged around the world, such as the European Union's GDPR. The world has become obsessed with data privacy, forcing tech companies to enforce regulations that are consistent with this.
Apple and Google have been at the forefront of these regulatory changes. Apple wants to bring industry money into its SKAdNetwork and encourage advertisers to run ads through Apple Search Ads. As its main competitor, Google can't sit idly by. It can't stay silent and lose more and more advertising revenue. This is where the Google Privacy Sandbox appears, which is not surprising to industry professionals.
Google has three identifiers. One of those identifiers is GAID - Google Advertising ID - which Google has now announced plans to deprecate and follow Apple's lead.
Previously, mobile attribution only relied on these user-level identifiers. Now, things are changing to protect user privacy from the exchange of third-party data with device identifiers, while ensuring that advertisers can still continue to effectively attribute. Going forward, it will be aggregated rather than attributed and tracked by user.
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The term "sandbox" is used in the developer industry to mean "test environment". The Privacy Sandbox is Google's program to create methods for apps to access user data without compromising user privacy. It's specifically designed so mobile advertising, measurement, and tracking can still be done in a world without device identifiers.
Google doesn't want to deal with its privacy updates immediately like Apple. Instead, it chooses to give advertisers more time to prepare. As a result, Google has revealed its intention to deprecate GAID in the privacy sandbox - essentially a privacy testing environment - which will take up to two years to complete.
This change began on April 1 of this year, and Google's announcement about store privacy optimizations updated at the annual I/O Developer Conference is that developers will reiterate by July 20, 2022, to fill in the necessary information for the upcoming store privacy section, which will inform users of the data that may be collected and/or shared by the app.
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There are many differences between the way Apple handles its IDFA deprecation and the way Google handles its GAID deprecation. These differences have had a significant impact on the mobile advertising industry, so let's dive into them below.
First of all, it takes two years to complete compared to Apple's almost immediate deprecation.
Apple made the change without much notice, and it announced the change almost when the transparency changed. Instead, Google released its proposal in the privacy sandbox, but developers can use existing platform features for at least two years. Google has promised to "provide plenty of notifications before any future changes occur." It basically reassures marketers and developers that, at least in this respect, it won't follow in Apple's footsteps.
Google offers more than Apple when it comes to documentation and dedicated testing frameworks. Eventually, GAID will be deprecated. First, Google must ensure that advertisers are still able and want to run effective user acquisition campaigns on their devices and platforms. After all, it is the largest ad network in the world, and measurement is an important part of its success. About 80% of Google's total revenue comes from advertising (which is incomparable to Apple's vague percentage). Advertisers who can effectively target on Google are important.
The second difference between the GAID and IDFA deprecations is that Google will list APIs within an SDK for every marketing resource that advertisers might need. Apple didn't do that. For example, advertisers will be able to track redirection activity specifically. Most major advertising use cases, including targeting, retargeting, attribution, and measurement, will be supported. It will be open source code that developers can use.
The SDK, known as the SDK Runtime, will be similar to the iOS equivalent of SKAdNetwork, but with a more comprehensive approach to appealing to a wider range of advertisers, app developers, and app users. It will provide numerous solutions to improve the user privacy experience and help ad publishers deal with specific verticals such as redirects, gaming, and e-commerce. It will also provide a new and secure way for applications to integrate with SDKs related to third-party advertising.
Although the unique solution will be suitable for different verticals and use cases, the overall idea is the same. Google will no longer pass on user-level data. It will also limit fingerprint recognition, just as Apple did with iOS 14 and iOS 15. This is all part of a further entry into the new era of privacy.
iOS users are more engaged and spend more in the app than Android users. The low value of Android users means marketers need more motivation to track them, so Google must introduce a robust solution. Anything more difficult than the solution for iOS 14 will give marketers less reason to track Android users. Instead, they may only focus on iOS users. They already know what's going on there, they've incorporated the solution into their processes, and they know that the quality of the users is high. So, if the solution is poor, why are they wasting their time on Google?
Fortunately, this time the change is no longer an industry challenge, as marketers have had to shift after Apple's change. What's more, there's nothing marketers can do about Google's plans. All that is needed is a single line of code implemented in Android Manifest. As a result, it's not at all as dramatic as the changes to iOS.
Now, the first thing you should focus on is updating the code of your app. After GAID deprecation and the Google Privacy Sandbox announcement, all apps that want to target Android 12 users must <AndroidManifest>be on it Declare a new permission in the file to access the Android advertising ID of each device.
In addition to updating the code, another preparedness that advertisers and app developers should take is to shift the focus to first-party data. Google will allow the use of first-party data without the same strict restrictions, as users have consented to share their data with that particular app. Third-party data, on the other hand, needs to be exchanged between two or more parties without the user's consent. That's exactly what Google updates will now be limited on.
Asoworld's ASO experts have been keeping a close eye on updates to the Google and Apple Stores. How will Google's privacy sandbox policies work and how will it affect app promotion? We will continue to follow these, you can follow our blog for the latest news.
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