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In June 2017, Apple dropped a bomb. They announced they’d be releasing ITP, or Intelligent Tracking Prevention, for iPhones, iPads, and Macs. The release sparked fear and frustration amongst the advertising industry; many marketers foresaw devastating impacts on tracking and revenue from Safari users, which makes up 15% of the global browser market.
The ITP 1.0 release was not without impact, but it turned out to be far less noticeable than originally predicted. But now, Apple is back with ITP 2.0, which will go live at the end of September as users shift over to iOS 12 and Mac OS Mojave. The changes Apple is making will be much more noticeable this time around, and as a marketer, you’re going to need to be prepared.
Over the rest of this week, we’ll be releasing a series of blogs to help you understand what ITP is, how it could impact your marketing efforts, and what you can do to mitigate those impacts.
Apple added ITP as a way to reduce the number of tracking mechanisms that advertisers, publishers, and technology companies employ. The idea was that ITP would increase consumer privacy and enhance the web browsing experience by eliminating excessive and persistent tags that can lead to slow load times.
How is ITP 2.0 different?
The long answer: With ITP 1.0, Apple provided advertisers with a 24-hour window from when a 1st-party cookie was last accessed in a 1st-party context (e.g., from the advertiser’s primary website) to access that 1st-party cookie in 3rd-party contexts. Building on top of ITP 1.0, Safari will start immediately partitioning cookies for domains that Apple has “determined to have tracking abilities,” removing the 24-hour window.
Apple has also engineered a feature designed to detect when a domain is solely used as a “1st-party bounce tracker” (i.e. it is never used as a 3rd-party content provider but tracks the user purely through navigational redirects); Safari will also purge website data in such instances.
Apple also intends to counter browser-fingerprinting techniques that are used to track users from site to site.
The “TL;DR” answer: Safari has been blocking 3rd-party cookies for years, so with ITP 1.0, the impact wasn’t nearly as noticeable. That changes with ITP 2.0, where Safari will immediately remove any cookies associated with a tracking platform.
What this means for you
Without mitigation, ITP 2.0 will effectively remove the ability for marketers to track conversions from Safari back to channel/campaign exposure/engagement. Although it’ll only impact the 15% of internet users on Safari browsers, it could have drastic impacts on remarketing campaigns. We recommend checking your analytics platform to see how much traffic/how many conversions come from Safari browsers so that you can quantify the potential impact.
What you can you do
Throughout the rest of the week, we’ll be outlining a strategy you can employ to minimize the impact of ITP 2.0. Come back tomorrow for a step-by-step guide to mitigation for Google AdWords.
About 3Q Decision Sciences:
Our Decision Sciences team helps you understand your audiences and determine where, how, and when to spend your budget. We provide an in-depth understanding of your customers and user interactions, layering on- and off-site data. We use multi-touch attribution, a DMP leveraging advanced 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-party data collection and integration, audience targeting and media-mix insight, and behavioral performance data, combined with best-in-class reporting and data visualization, to shape marketing strategies. Contact us today!