Apple could do massive damage to the online ad industry– especially with Safari on iOS– simply by putting in a Do Not Track toggle switch which users control. Tap it or click it. No tracking. Why doesn’t Apple do that?
Apple makes money the old fashioned way. It creates a product. You buy the product. If you don’t like it, you buy something else. That’s a time honored method for making money and Apple does it well. On the other side of the fence are the likes of Google and Facebook who provide users with free software to use in exchange for private information which is then used against them with advertising.
I get it. Advertising greases the wheels of commerce. Advertising makes the world go round. We need online advertising to keep the price of content at near free. Apple is helping.
Owen Williams has a different perspective, but one that moves in the right direction.
Apple wants to kill the ad industry. It’s forcing developers to help.
The reality is different. Apple does not want to kill the advertising industry. Apple wants to save the industry from itself. Advertising is in danger. Apple wants to help.
Even Williams understands.
Over the last few years, Apple has quietly been moving to curtail the advertising industry’s broad reach. It began blocking trackers by default, added ad-blocking to the iPhone, and began restricting cookies in the web browser.
The most revealing word in that consideration is curtail. Apple wants to curtail the advertising industry’s reach and one way to do that is to curb tracking methods.
Now, in iOS 13, it’s going one step further and focusing on a bigger goal: kneecapping the digital marketing industry entirely, and there’s no way to avoid it.
That’s not quite true, either, but it looks ominous for the ad industry.
‘Sign in with Apple’ is a flagship feature in iOS 13, due to be released in the fall, makes it easier to sign into apps. Just like signing in with Facebook or Google, the idea is that it’ll make it easier to create an account in an app without typing out your details—with a key difference: Apple anonymizes the user’s email address and identity almost entirely, so the developer never receives their real details.
There is little doubt that Sign in with Apple will be popular because, for those who choose to use it, it means another arrow is removed from the advertiser’s quiver, and users get a little more control.
iPhone represents about 30-percent of the entire smartphone industry and the Mac represents perhaps 10-percent, so it isn’t likely that Apple’s new anti-advertising tools will do much to damage advertisings who gather data other ways, but it will have an impact, and it will help to segregate Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and Mac from the general riffraff of Windows PCs and Android devices which are overflowing with advertising and trackers.
Williams likes the latest idea with Sign in with Apple as a user.
As a person in digital marketing, as well as a coder and startup founder, the feature terrifies me: Apple wants to remove the last piece of control I actually had over my product’s marketing.
Again, Apple’s steps are good for users but won’t have much impact on app developers and especially little to dent online advertisers and marketers.
And, Apple gives customers plenty of choices to be tracked by advertisers if they choose– Google, for example, is the default search engine on iOS, macOS, and iPad OS.
I don’t have a choice. Apple plans to force developers using third-party signin features to add its signin along any competing ones, rather than allowing them to make the choice.
That’s wrong, too. While developers will be required to put Sign in with Apple at the top of Sign in with Google or Sign in with Facebook, and the option is user friendly, it won’t matter to most app developers.
Apple is backing developers and small businesses into a corner, forcing them to use the technology, and using the App Store—again—as a tool to further its own reach.
Apple’s developer community does not get much personal or private information from users that is of monetary value vs. in-app purchases or Apple’s own advertising system. They may make some money with collected data, but Apple has been crimping that for a few years.
With Apple sign-in, the company is set to do the same thing: by selling the tool as a privacy-focused feature, the company is building a new identity system that it owns entirely.
Wrong again. Customers still have choice. Developers still have choice. Sign in with Apple is good for users and Apple customers, but to think they will move 100-percent to it is folly.
There’s bitter irony in Apple denouncing other companies’ collection of data with a sign-in service, then launching its own, asking that you give that data to them, instead. I definitely trust Apple to act with my interests at heart today, but what about tomorrow, when the bottom falls out of iPhone sales, and the math changes?
That’s a different story. What happens when the government steps in and limits advertiser’s data collection efforts anyway? Boo hoo, right? Advertisers have enough private information already, so curtailing some of it, even if most of the effort shows up on Apple’s products, won’t do much damage anywhere.
Mac360, my site NoodleMac, and all the AppleVillagers websites stopped trackers years ago. Our websites have no trackers, no ad trackers, no analytics trackers, and no cookies. But we do have ads to help support our respective platforms.
It works. Win win win. Everyone benefits. What Apple is doing will benefit those that matter most. Customers.