Apple and Google say goodbye to the advertising cookie - what does that mean for your marketing?

Adieu, advertising cookie! With the release of the Apple iOS 14.5 update last Monday and Google's announcement of its Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), advertisers and online retailers are facing some changes.

Because with it will be Third party cookies are a thing of the past and turn the marketing world upside down. In this article, we explain exactly what all of this means for you.

What are third party cookies?

Third-party cookies are used by advertising companies to track Internet users while they browse various websites. Based on the pages visited, a personal profile of the user including his interests. This data is then used to display personalized advertising.

Third-party cookies reside on millions of websites and provide businesses and advertisers with a wealth of information. However, as the public becomes more aware of the issue of data protection, more and more regulations and data protection laws are being passed.

Apple and Google are now taking the whole thing into their own hands and providing (supposedly) more transparency in data tracking. This will change the way how advertisements are displayed on websitesto change radically.

What exactly are the changes that come with the iOS update and Google's cookie plans?

Since Monday, Apple has been demanding that app operators use the new App Tracking Transparency Framework (ATT) and that the Obtain permission from your users before tracking their activities on other apps and websites. The use of unauthorized third-party cookies in his Safari web browser has been prohibited for a long time. This ban is now being extended to include apps.

Meanwhile, Google is inventing a cookie alternativeinstead of banning them too completely. Be Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) enables marketers to continue targeting desired groups of consumers, just no longer using a person's individual web history.

In theory, this makes it harder to tie ad tracking to the information gathered by data brokers and other providers. Third party cookies have advertisers in the past enabled consumers to be targeted based on age, ethnicity and gender.

Both companies justify their measures with the Improvement of the data transparency. However, Google has portrayed its efforts as a balancing act between privacy and the survival of web publishing that relies on ads.

How does Apple's ATT affect your marketing?

All app operators need to since the iOS 14.5 update dated April 26th, seek permission from the user to track or access the device's advertising identifier. If the respective app does not receive this permission, the value of the The device's advertising identifier is set to zero and cannot be tracked.

Have you ever used an app and a prompt popped up on your screen to allow access to your phone's microphone or camera? This is exactly how Apple's change will work: Apps that want to track users' activities for advertising must first ask them to agree.

Apple calls this App tracking transparency or ATT. It prohibits app manufacturers from searching for data from other apps such as

  • Buying behavior
  • Potential app installations
  • "Lost" app users / expired subscriptions

Since Apple announced these upcoming changes a few months ago, many app manufacturers have become more insecure and fearful of financial damage. Many users will probably not agree to the tracking. Advertising campaigns will be less effective and more difficult to measure.

While Apple's position is that consumers should choose how their data is used, some app developers are referring to Apple's new rule as the "atom bomb."

Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software development at the tech giant, however, expressed his confidence with European regulators: "The industry will adapt to the ATT standard. "

It will be interesting to see how Facebook will adapt to it. Because the core business of the social media provider relies heavily on Ad targeting and access to Apple device owners. Small businesses with a focus on niche customer groups will have a harder time reaching your specific audiences, according to Facebook.

Meanwhile, Jeremi Gorman, CEO of Snap Inc. told investors last week that Snapchat Apple's steps supported and plans to adopt its accompanying mobile ad framework.

Apple's new privacy labels are divided into three categories

The data protection regulation affects the entire app experience. App developers and Marketers now need to focus on first-party data. You won't get around to getting strong and Build a loyal customer base and create an experiencethat is worth paying for - or just seeing advertisements.

From now on, app users can choose between three categories choose:

  • Data used for tracking
  • Data associated with the user
  • Data that is not associated with the user.

Data used for tracking, use data from the app, such as personal information or data collected from the mobile device (e.g. location data) for the purpose of targeted advertising. Sharing user or device data with brands and companies that sell that data is also considered tracking.

Data associated with the user, are all data that can be used to identify you. This includes data obtained from the Use of the app or an account from the same app manufacturer, to be collected. This also includes all data that is collected by the device on which the app is installed and that can be used to create an advertising profile.

At Data that is not linked to the user in an identifiable way, it is z. B. to Location data or browsing history.

In addition, the new IDFA rules come into force

Along with iOS 14 came the new Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) therefore. Users now have the option to use the Block IDFA identifiers at app level. Developers now have to ask app users for explicit permission to track them across apps and websites with the help of IDFA.

At the same time they will too Must provide details of what data is being collected and with whom it is being shared. Apple is taking positive steps in the name of user privacy with the new IDFA rules and mandatory data protection labels.

However, these developments will have a significant impact on the ecosystem of online retail advertising. The ability of advertisers to target users is severely impaired. When an iPhone or iPad user pulls out of IDFA, he or she is no longer a targeted person.

This also affects the Ability to geo-target. Many data records are created from recognizing physical addresses at which the user's phone “sleeps” at night. You then link this address to public name and address directories.

Innovative marketing strategies are becoming more and more important in the course of the iOS 14.5 update

This move puts pressure on brands that improve digital experiences for their customers. In the end, companies will emerge as winners from these new developments that manage to deliver the best experiences - and not the ones who just advertise the best can.

Brands that already have a large customer base of users will have a big head start over brands that are just launching their apps. Platforms that are already very committed users with apps installed on your iOS device, you can tap into this first-party data and use it to your advantage.

So they will be able to use the existing audience Cross-selling through new apps and offers that they are introducing. On the other hand, companies that don't improve the product experience or don't customize digital optimization will end up having a hard time.

Apple's SKADNetwork will likely benefit from the new update

Advertisers will probably start to use the SKADNetwork more. The privacy-friendly method for assigning ads and clicks on iOS apps is able to share data with advertisers without disclosing data at the user or device level.

How will Google's change work?

For the coming year 2022, Google has planned to remove third-party cookies in its Chrome browser. Google calls its proposed replacement Federal Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), which categorizes web surfers according to specific interests.

For example, visit traditional news websites like this Handelsblattso will you classified as a consumer of financial and business news along with thousands of other people. Go to, you may find yourself placed in a group of celebrity gossip fans.

Advertisers can promote the groups you are in, but your identity (and web habits) are hidden “in the crowd”. According to Google, advertisers were able to convert 95% of their ads into saleswhich was not the case with the old cookie system. It remains to be seen whether it will look the same in reality.

The privacy sandbox laid the foundation

Google has been working towards this development for quite some time. The company unveiled its "Privacy Sandbox" in August 2019 Initiative to personalize (or target) web ads while protecting user privacy.

Other browsers such as Safari and Firefox took similar steps years ago. With the Privacy Sandbox and FLoC, Google is following suit and developing a “privacy-friendly” and “interest-based” advertising technology.

FLoC Cookie Ban

The Federated Learning of Cohorts continues this development

With Federated Learning of Cohorts, Chrome tracks a user's browsing habits across the web and then assigns the user to different target groups or “cohorts” on the basis of these habits.

Advertisers then become theirs Target advertising to cohorts rather than a single, individual user. So that's how Google will technically still serve you targeted ads, but in a more anonymous way.

Google also claims that advertisers with FLoC almost get the same return on investment as with cookie-based tracking and is currently testing FLoC with various marketers to see if it actually works as a cookie replacement.

In addition, there would still be the first-party data from the advertising network

With Federated Learning of Cohorts, Chrome tracks a user's browsing habits across the web and then assigns the user to different target groups or “cohorts” on the basis of these habits.

Advertisers then become theirs Target advertising to cohorts rather than a single, individual user. So that's how Google will technically still serve you targeted ads, but in a more anonymous way.

Google also claims that advertisers with FLoC almost get the same return on investment as with cookie-based tracking and is currently testing FLoC with various marketers to see if it actually works as a cookie replacement.

What's the reaction to Google's FLoC?

Smaller competing web browsers like Firefox and Opera, to have FLoC rejected as inadequate data protection solution. Microsoft Corp. didn't give a clear answer to FLoC for its Edge browser.

Unsurprisingly, ad tech companies competing with Google aren't thrilled. Do you think FLoC Google's power as the largest online advertising marketerwho has lucrative first-party data from logged in Gmail accounts and products like YouTube further strengthens.

European regulators are also questioning how Google is phasing out third-party cookies as part of its long-running antitrust investigation of the company.

CONCLUSION: If you rely on innovative advertising strategies and a 1A customer experience, you win!

Mobile advertising within apps is an important platform for advertisers - especially on social media apps like Facebook. Apple's iOS 154.5 update has the potential to exempt the sector.

Advertisers and marketers are therefore well advised to look into Apple's SKADNetwork and FLoC and to concentrate on data collection by first-party providers. Besides, it is now more important than ever innovative advertising strategies and deliver a great experience to their potential customers.

At R17, we always have our finger on the pulse when it comes to your digital marketing strategy! Would you prefer to concentrate on your core business instead of keeping up to date with what's new in the world of marketing?

We would be happy to relieve you of this process and always keep your advertisements up-to-date. Changes to the cookie policy or not!

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