iOS 17: What It Means for Advertisers

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Goodway Group POV

iOS 17: What It Means for Advertisers PREPARED BY

TRACI ASBURY Social Investment Lead Goodway Group

December 2023

Goodway Group POV


What’s Happening? Apple released its newest version of iOS on September 18, 2023. iOS 17 comes with new privacy and measurement updates across the digital ecosystem, which means more pivoting is needed by advertisers. To remain competitive in the market to Apple device users, advertisers who deliver on Apple-owned apps — including Safari and iMessage, as well as any app within the App Store — will need to work within these new regulations.

Background The release of iOS 17 will be a continued iteration of Apple’s focus on privacy enforcement for users and tracking limitations for advertisers and app owners. One of the updates, Link Tracking Protection, provides fingerprint protection by removing any identifiable information from URLs accessed within Safari private browsing or shared between messages and Apple mail. The valuable parameters to be removed from these URLs include the Facebook fbclid and the Google gclid.

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Goodway Group POV


Apple also introduced their Private Click Measurement, which uses a new inbrowser Safari API to help resolve conversion measurement. This feature will only apply to ads with a direct user journey from click to web, allowing advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns while respecting user privacy. In addition to web browsing tracking changes, the introduction of SKAdNetwork 5.0 requires SDKs to include a Privacy Manifest to verify their data practices are compliant with Apple privacy regulations for apps. Apple then reserves the right to ban the app from the app store. This aims to limit advertisers’ ability to use “fingerprinting” tracking, where companies can access and trade devices’ signals to identify and target users.

What Does This Mean for Advertisers? The iOS 17 updates will impact ad attribution and analytics — particularly for web advertisers. Links that contain Facebook and Google click IDs will be automatically removed from a URL when shared between messages, Apple Mail and Safari Private Browsing. This means there will be a loss of ad attribution data for advertisers and limited analytics surrounding click to conversion paths.

© 2023 Goodway Group. All rights reserved.

Goodway Group POV


What To Do Next The iOS 17 updates and privacy changes will make it increasingly difficult to track and attribute conversions to paid media campaigns including initiatives on Google and Meta. Here’s what advertisers can do now to prepare for these changes.

1. Move away from in-platform reporting for cross-channel analysis and look to alternative attribution models. Goodway recommends leveraging media mix modeling (MMM), multi-touch attribution (MTA), first-party data identifiers, probabilistic attribution and geo-based incrementality testing to understand data gaps and to optimize media holistically.

2. For the above recommendations and within paid media campaigns, continue to prioritize and capture first-party data. As tracking becomes more difficult, proprietary data will be highly valuable for learning and adjusting.

3. With capturing 1P data, brands should enhance data generated through Meta’s Advanced Matching. That’s because Facebook IDs may be dropped. © 2023 Goodway Group. All rights reserved.

Goodway Group POV


4. If you haven’t already, implement Conversions API for serverto-server signal resilience on social platforms including Meta. Further, ensure the Event Match Quality score is “good” or “great.” Goodway offers CAPI integration as a service if needed.

5. Paid search teams should opt in to features such as Enhanced Conversions. These features can improve the accuracy of conversion measurements as well as improve the performance of automated bidding.

6. Teams can analyze the percentage of penetration and action from iOS devices and help paint the picture of potential reporting loss. This will help model platform data and work toward data accuracy on each account. Advertisers with a heavy iOS/Safari skew will see a greater impact.

© 2023 Goodway Group. All rights reserved.


Goodway Group POV

7. For Meta advertisers focusing on reach and engagement campaigns on Meta, UTM parameters should be applied to measure the impact from social clicks to site. This is due to the fact that these campaigns have a less direct user journey from ad to onsite action and will see less traction.

The Road Ahead

Bonus Content

While the impact of iOS 17 is limited at this time, there is reason to believe that the industry will continue this trend of removing tracking that uniquely identifies users, making it more difficult to measure your campaign performance as well as provide important conversion data needed to successfully manage and optimize media efforts.

Maintain targeting and measurement and drive impact in the face of uncertainty in a post-cookie landscape.

Goodway will continue to monitor performance, the market environment and provide brands with actionable guidance to seamlessly navigate industry changes.



Visit our blog to learn how to use data and strategic approaches to produce results. © 2023 Goodway Group. All rights reserved.

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