Facebook meeting with gaming companies over concerns of iOS 14’s strict privacy measures

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Facebook representatives have been meeting with employees from mobile gaming companies in the past few weeks over changes coming on iOS 14 that makes it harder for advertisers to track the behavior of users, reports The Information.

Per the report:

Facebook representatives in recent weeks have been meeting with mobile gaming companies, a key group of advertisers, ahead of a major change by Apple that will make it harder for apps to track the behavior of iPhone owners.

In the talks, Facebook employees have sought to hear gaming companies’ concerns about Apple’s next mobile operating system, which is expected to reduce the effectiveness of Facebook’s powerful ad targeting tool in reaching customers, according to two people familiar with the matter. The discussions give a window into the seismic changes Apple, touting the privacy benefits of such limits, is forcing on advertising-driven tech companies including Google, Snap and Twitter.

The Information

Under iOS 14, users will have to approve if any app is able to track their activity outside of the app itself. Currently, developers are able to share user activity outside of the app with advertisers, unless users specifically opt-out. When iOS 14 drops this fall, advertisers are expecting as many of 1 billion people to opt-out, a huge blew to the effectiveness of advertisers.

Without tracking, Facebook’s ads could lose some of their effectiveness. That, in turn, could depress sales for mobile gaming companies, one of Facebook’s five most lucrative spending categories. Firms like Zynga, Activision Blizzard’s King and Tencent’s Supercell rely heavily on targeted ad campaigns, often on Facebook and Instagram, to find new players and keep existing ones spending. 

The Information

Facebook has already expressed concerns over the new features coming on iOS 14. Facebook’s chief financial officer Dave Wehner said in an earnings call in July that the new features are “going to make it harder for app developers and others to grow using ads on Facebook and elsewhere.”

In the meetings, Facebook is reportedly trying to ease concerns alongside engaging Facebook employees engaging in discussions on gaining more information about the changes coming to the systems. Apple told The Information that it welcomes targeted adverting, but wants to put user privacy first, it added that it could ban any app that continues to track users against their wishes.

An Apple spokesperson said the company welcomes targeted advertising, but it wants to give users the ability to opt in to those types of ads. If someone doesn’t want to be tracked, Apple will tell the app’s developer, which needs to make sure the app is complying. Apple says it could ban any app that continues to track users against their wishes. 

The Information

But, not all hope is lost. Under Apple’s guidelines, advertisers will be to create their own pop-up message where users can opt-in into IDFA, that freedom can give advertisers the ability to convince users to opt-into the tracking.

“Advertisers and app developers who offer clear and compelling value to users for sharing their IDFA may end up with far superior opt-in rates,” said Matt Littin, CEO of gaming rewards company Lootcakes. His firm offers users incentives such as gift cards for choosing to share information like purchase habits with the makers of free-to-play games. 

The Information

While there is hope, users are still likely to opt-out of the tracking. In the past years users opting out of the tracking have increased on iOS more than Android, just over 30% of iOS users in the US limit tracking. There is concern around the feature right now, but, it’s not likely Apple will not change the feature to simply please some advertisers.

iOS 14 is currently in beta testing, with launch set for this fall. iOS 14 offers one of the biggest visual changes to the user experience on the homescreen and system with redesigned Widgets, App Library, a compact Call and Siri UI, and more.

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Sami started falling in love with Apple in 2010 with the iPhone 4S. As a registered developer, he deeply admires the world of Apple. Sami is an aspiring journalist, writer, and actor. He also has devoted his life to sharing his passion and knowledge with others around the world.