Twitter and iOS 14 — Resource Center

Overview

Apple announced their AppTrackingTransparency framework, as part of iOS 14, in 2020. 

As of April 26th, Apple has officially launched their AppTrackingTransparency framework, as part of iOS 14.5. With that, iOS apps are required to prompt people to track them, according to Apple’s definition of tracking. That is, in order to collect and share data of people who use an iOS app, that app will need to surface an AppTrackingTransparency prompt.

The AppTrackingTransparency framework will impact the broader advertising industry as it will likely lead to a significant decrease in the amount of identifiable users. This can make it difficult to accurately attribute conversions or actions driven by an ad platform. This can also impact ad delivery models, targeting capabilities, and measurement solutions.

Our position

We previously shared how Twitter is preparing for these changes. We also shared our information around our prompting strategy. Read more about this and other related AppTrackingTransparency announcements here

At Twitter, we have long prioritized people’s privacy, and we continue to provide people with control in regards to how we use information and manage their ad preferences.

Product updates for AppTrackingTransparency

For app advertising, we have integrated with SKAdNetwork, Apple’s proprietary attribution solution, which enables click and view-through install reporting aggregated at the campaign or ad group level.

For our other ad products, we are making product changes that will enable reporting and tracking for audiences who have opted into tracking, via the AppTrackingTransparency prompt.

What does this mean for your campaigns on Twitter?

It depends on what type of campaigns and products you use. These changes can affect a variety of different products in different ways. 

Read more below, based on the products you use, to understand the impact on your campaigns and how to prepare.

 

App Install and App Re-engagement products

How will this change affect your App Install or App Re-engagement campaigns?

These changes will impact App Install and App Re-engagement campaigns. This includes impact to measurement, prediction, targeting, as well as campaign performance. 

As people opt out of tracking via the AppTrackingTransparency prompt, the amount of available identifier for advertisers (IDFA) is reduced. The IDFA is a key input in mobile app campaigns, and with a reduction in the amount of IDFAs driven by this change, app campaigns will be affected. 

In particular, we expect App Re-engagement campaigns to be heavily affected as a result of AppTrackingTransparency enforcement. IDFA is the primary signal for identifying people who have already installed an app on iOS devices - with reduced signal, it becomes more difficult to accurately reach those people.

How iOS app campaigns operate and measure on Twitter has shifted:

  • SKAdNetwork: In order to reach audiences who have opted out of tracking, you will need to work with an approved Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP) to leverage SKAdNetwork on Twitter.
  • Measurement: Click- and view-through install reporting will be aggregated at the ad group level for SKAdNetwork installs. Audiences who have opted in to tracking will still be measurable at the device ID level.
  • Note: View-through attribution with SKAdNetwork is not yet available on Twitter. We plan to support view-through attribution within 1-2 months of April 26th. We will update this page with more information as it becomes available.
  • Campaign Set up: You will need to ensure that you are only running up to 70 ad groups at a time for a single advertised iOS app.

The full extent of the impact is not yet known. We will share more updates as they become available. For more detail, please read below.

Keep in mind that these changes do not apply to Android devices.

SKAdNetwork and App Campaign Measurement

For app campaigns, Twitter requires working with an approved Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP) to measure and attribute installs and post-installs. We do not currently offer conversion measurement and attribution via a software development kit (SDK) or via our Ads API. 

Our approved MMP’s are:

Twitter supports Apple’s new ad network, SKAdNetwork. If you are already set up with one of our MMP’s, you will be able to view SKAdNetwork installs in Twitter Ads Manager. 

To view post-install or conversion value metrics, you will need to work with your MMP’s to ensure they are configured to support SKAdNetwork on Twitter. 

As of April 23, all approved MMP’s are integrated with SKADNetwork on Twitter. Check with your MMP to make sure you are updated to the right version of your MMP’s SDK.

App Campaign Set Up

As part of SKAdNetwork, Apple will make only a limited number (100) of “SK-campaign IDs” (SKIDs) available for each advertised app. Twitter will reserve 30 of the 100 SKIDs to ensure we are able to continue developing and improving ad products. The remaining 70 SKID’s are available per each advertised app.

With that, each of your iOS apps will be able to support 70 active ad groups, with one SKID associated to one ad group. This limit on concurrently active ad groups applies across ad accounts. There is no limitation on the number of campaigns or ad accounts at this time.

  • Example: you could run 70 campaigns with 1 ad group each (or inversely, 1 campaign with 70 ad groups).
App Targeting

We expect impact to targeting with regards to Custom Audiences, targeting on Twitter Audience Platform, and our app auto-exclusion. More details below.

We expect minimal to no impact to targeting on the Twitter platform related to our age, gender, location, language, device, keyword, event, interest, conversation topic, movie/TV, and follower targeting products.

Targeting impacted:

  • Custom Audiences: audience sizes for Custom Audiences using IDFA will likely decrease. This applies to Audience Lists using IDFA to identify users, App Activity Audiences, and App Activity Combination Audiences.
  • Update: There is new impact to Custom Audiences as a result of AppTrackingTransparency and the related product changes we are making. Check out the Audiences section for more information.
  • Twitter Audience Platform targeting: using age or gender targeting will likely decrease your audience size on Twitter Audience Platform. Reduced IDFA signal reduces our ability to match with MoPub audiences via Twitter Audience Platform.
  • Auto-exclusion: for device IDs we can match, we are able to automatically exclude audiences who have already installed your app. With the drop in IDFA signal, our ability to do so on iOS is affected and reduced.
How to prepare your campaigns

As people update to iOS 14.5+ and IDFA signal begins to reduce, it’s important to keep a watchful eye on your campaigns. Here are a few recommendations to consider during the first few uncertain months.

  • Bid and Budget: We recommend setting budgets based on your typical spend levels ahead of and during the period immediately after AppTrackingTransparency enforcement. 
  • Don't fight the Learning Period. This is the easiest factor to control the highest fluctuations. Aim to not make any campaign edits within 5 days of launch. 
  • Autobid vs Max Bid. We recommend continuing to leverage the bid type you are already using. If uncertain what to use, we suggest leveraging autobid as it gives you the best chance for scale versus the risk of Max Bid with little to no delivery. 
  • If using Max Bid, keep bids max 5X KPI and no higher. Be on the conservative side.
FAQ

Will Twitter support view-through attribution offered by SKAdNetwork?

  • Yes, we are actively in development to support view-through attribution via SKAdNetwork. We plan to support view-through attribution within 1-2 months of April 26th. We will update this page with more information as it becomes available. 

What campaign data will be available in Twitter’s dashboards?

  • Campaign data is available down to the ad group level at an aggregate. We currently do not provide breakdowns for opted in/opted out traffic in Twitter’s 1st party dashboards, nor do we provide SKAdNetwork data separately. 

After turning off an ad group, how long does it take for the SKAdNetwork ID (SKID) associated with the ad group to “release”, allowing me to create a new ad group?

  • The SKID allocated to an ad group will persist for ~8 days after the last impression was captured for that ad group. Once the last impression is captured, the SKID is released, and a new ad group (with a new SKID) can be created. 
  • Example: if an ad group ends Feb 1 2021, the system automatically continues to allocate an SKID for that ad group through Feb 9 2021. That means it is possible to have the maximum allocated 70 SKID’s in use, with less than 70 ad groups running. 
  • Note that this is only relevant if you are running at the 70 SKID. If you are consistently below the 70 SKID limit, then you may not notice the ~8 day delay.

Website products

How will this change affect your Website campaigns?

We expect that there will be some impact to Website campaigns as a result of AppTrackingTransparency. Overall, AppTrackingTransparency will affect Website campaign targeting, reporting, and performance. 

We anticipate varying levels of impact in the short and long term. In the short term, beginning in around mid-May, we will not attribute off-platform web conversions (such as Site Visits or Purchases) for any iOS 14.5+ user - whether they have opted in or out of tracking. During this time, your ads will continue to serve to iOS 14.5+ users, but results will not flow to reporting, making outcomes appear lower than they actually are. 

We will continue to attribute results for people on Twitter Web, Android and those using iOS versions less than 14.5.

  • Please note, web conversion optimization performance may fluctuate as our models adjust to AppTrackingTransparency.

Long term, beginning in early Summer, we will solely not attribute off-platform web conversions for people on iOS 14.5+ who have chosen not to opt into tracking via the AppTrackingTransparency prompt. In other words, we will begin to attribute results for people who have opted into tracking, as well as people on Twitter Web, Android, or on iOS versions less than 14.5.

This decrease in attributable web conversions may impact campaign performance. As attributable results decline, it will become more difficult for ad systems to learn and optimize ad delivery. With that, we are moving quickly to explore privacy-preserving measurement solutions on Web that would help report on audiences who have chosen not to opt into tracking via the AppTrackingTransparency prompt.  

Read more below on how to manage the impact of these changes.

Website Campaign Set Up

If you are running a Conversion focused campaigns - such as a Website Clicks campaign with Site Visit optimization - you may observe impact to your campaigns as a result of these changes in relation to AppTrackingTransparency.

As off-platform website conversion signal loss will reduce measurement visibility and affect ad optimization, campaign performance may fluctuate. Keep in mind, in the long term, campaign performance will stabilize and off-platform results will recover somewhat.

Actions you can take during the short term:

  • Select keywords, Interests, and other targeting features, then select the option to "Expand your audience" to help maintain steady spend-through and reach your core audiences
  • If using Custom Audiences, make sure to include Look-alikes of your Custom Audiences
Website Targeting

We expect impact to targeting with regards to Custom Audiences and targeting on Twitter Audience Platform.

Targeting impacted:

  • Custom Audiences: audience sizes for Custom Audiences may decrease as a result of AppTrackingTransparency.
  • Update: There is new impact to Custom Audiences as a result of AppTrackingTransparency and the related product changes we are making. Check out the Audiences section for more information.
  • Twitter Audience Platform targeting: using age or gender targeting will likely decrease your audience size on Twitter Audience Platform. Reduced signal limits our ability to match with MoPub audiences via Twitter Audience Platform.
  • To help mitigate this, we recommend broadening your targeting parameters by not including age or gender after AppTrackingTransparency enforcement begins.

Brand products

How will these changes affect your Brand (Awareness, Engagement, Takeover ads, etc.) campaigns?

We still do not anticipate a significant impact to our Brand products such as Awareness, Engagement, or Takeover Ads as a result of Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency enforcement. We will update you should things change. 

Our Brand products primarily leverage on-platform signals and are less affected by a decrease in off-platform signal. 

Brand Targeting

At this time, we expect minimal to no impact to targeting on the Twitter platform related to our age, gender, location, language, device, keyword, event, interest, conversation topic, movie/TV, and follower targeting products.

Keep in mind that Audiences - such as Custom Audiences - may be impacted. Read more in the Audiences section.

Audiences and Targeting

How will these changes affect your Audiences?

We expect an impact to our List Custom Audiences as well as Web Activity and App Activity products as a result of AppTrackingTransparency and related product changes we are making. There will be varying levels of impact in the short and long term. 

For List Custom Audiences, beginning around mid-May, the ability to add any iOS 14.5+ users to Custom Audiences will be temporarily paused. This pause will only apply to iOS 14.5+ users, and you will still be able to add and refresh users that are not on iOS 14.5+ without affecting already matched audiences. Throughout this time, all List Custom Audiences will remain available for use in campaigns, and you will still be able to delete audiences.

For Web Activity and App Activity Audiences, beginning around mid-May, we will temporarily pause the ability to add any new users to those respective audiences. Throughout this pause, all App Activity and Web Activity Custom Audiences will remain available for use in campaigns, and you will still be able to delete Web audiences.

Long term, beginning in early Summer, full functionality of Custom Audiences will return with one key difference - we will not be able to match users who have not opted into tracking via the AppTrackingTransparency prompt on iOS 14.5+ devices.

We have shared some guidance below on actions to take during this short term period to continue to get the most out of your Audiences.

All Audiences

  • To help maintain scale for all Campaigns / Ad Groups targeting Custom Audiences, consider: 
  • Including Look-alikes of your Custom Audiences
  • Utilizing the “Expand your audience” option & set expansion to “Broad”
  • Being cautious of layering on Demographic & Device targeting as this will reduce scale
  • Adding Targeting Features (Keywords, Interests, etc.) to expand the audience size

App Audiences

  • Review App Activity Combination Audience lookback windows
  • Where appropriate, consider extending lookback windows to maintain audience size
How will these changes affect your Targeting?

On-platform Targeting - Non-Custom Audiences
At this time, we continue to believe that our Demographic, Device, and Targeting Features (Keywords, Interests, etc.) products will not be affected as a result of these product updates and AppTrackingTransparency enforcement. We will update you should things change. 

Twitter Audience Platform Targeting
As people upgrade to iOS 14.5+ and do not opt in to tracking, we will see a reduced ability to target users based on Age and Gender across the Twitter Audience Platform ecosystem. Twitter Audience Platform requires IDFA in order to identify age and gender. With reduced IDFA signal, using Age and Gender targeting in TAP campaigns will heavily restrict the reachable audience.

FAQ

Will existing Audiences remain available for use?
Yes - all existing Audiences will remain available to be used for Targeting, Exclusion, and Lookalikes.

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