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Twitter CFO: Apple’s App Tracking Transparency Changes ‘Level the Playing Field’



Twitter is not worried about the upcoming changes to ad tracking that Apple plans to implement in iOS 14.5, Twitter’s CFO Ned Segal said today at Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.

Twitter feature


Segal said that Twitter is not strongly dependent on the device ID or IDFA, that is what Apple will limit through a new prompt that will require developers to get user permission before IDFA can be used for ad tracking.

We look at the unique signal that Twitter has with a growing audience, with better formats and more relevance and the ability to better utilize the signal, much of which is not linked to a device ID. We feel very good about our ability to take advantage of that combination.

Segal went on to explain that he expects Apple’s IDFA restrictions to “level the playing field.” Other companies have been better at leveraging the data made available to them, but now everyone wants to face the same challenges, giving Twitter an opportunity to better compete with giants like Facebook.

We are in an industry where many were much better than Twitter historically at utilizing all the data available to them, from device ID to what people did on other sites. When we all have the same set of new challenges that we have to face, leveling the playing field will be a very interesting impact on the broader industry.

Twitter plans to wait instead of immediately asking users if they want to select IDFA tracking through a popup. “We do not want to be in a hurry around IDFA,” Segal said, explaining that app developers only get one chance to request access to the device ID. “You want to ask in a really thoughtful way” and “take the time to learn” before you “ask a question like that,” he said.

Apple’s changes in transparency for app tracking are baked into iOS 14 and are now being implemented, but as of iOS 14.5, Apple will enforce the rules. All app developers must request permission before using IDFA to track a user across websites and apps, and if a user refuses, developers must respect that choice and not participate in other multi-app tracking methods.

Facebook has fought against Apple’s planned privacy changes and claims that small businesses will be unfairly affected, but Apple has not started planning to implement the IDFA prompt, and Facebook and other developers will be forced to use it after the launch of iOS 14.5 in the spring.


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