ITP from Apple: what does this mean for marketers

Not so long ago, Apple announced the launch of the Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) system, built into the Safari browser. This algorithm tracks cookies from all third-party ad networks and removes them every 24 hours. Since cookies are used to determine user preferences, their regular removal will prevent advertising agencies from effectively targeting ads. And so advertisers faced another obstacle in the way of their campaigns.

Safari browser is used by 14.9% of Internet users. This is a small figure, but all these users can be someone’s audience, which became inaccessible due to the innovation of Apple. Retargeting is a great way to bring visitors back to the site and convince them to make a purchase again. So, advertisers lost some of their potential customers?


What are cross-site tracking and third-party cookies?

Cross-site tracking is one of the key techniques of Internet advertisers, which allows you to see which sites a user visits and understand what he is interested in. And advertisers, in turn, can create more effective ads, which will be converted with greater probability.

The very process of tracking becomes possible cookies are stored on the user’s device, third-party cookies are cookies that are set by a different website than the one the user is currently at.


For example, starting a search for a particular brand, many users then face advertising this brand on other sites. This is how third-party cookies work. And to convince users to buy something on the site, you can add the coupon code. However, after the launch of ITP in the Safari browser, all this became impossible. Thus, advertising campaigns lose their sales.

Although it seems that the innovation from Apple will affect the advertising networks, many began to wonder – but will it also be reflected in Google’s social network retargeting and remarketing? Social media is quite an impressive platform for increasing brand awareness. If this is the risk, many brands will have to look for new ways to expand their presence in social networks.

How does Intelligent Tracking Prevention work?


ITP (including social network logins) and third-party ones placed by advertisers.As shown in the example above, third-party cookies are blocked every other day, and a month later they are completely deleted from the user’s device.


Many advertisers expressed Apple’s concerns about what will now happen to their business:

The infrastructure of the modern Internet sits from consistent and generally applicable standards for cookies, so digital companies can implement innovations, including personalized and tracking visits to users. The new Safari functionality violates these standards, replacing them with an amorphous set of rules that will only worsen the user experience and undermine the economic model

We strongly recommend that Apple revise its plan to impose its own standards on cookies, as the company risks destroying the ecosystem of online- eklamy, which is one of the main sources of funding of the digital content market.

The problem of privacy on the Internet worries many users who claim that they do not feel secure, including because of third-party cookies following users on many sites they visit.

However, without cookies, users will have to deal with the problem of advertising spam – non-personalized ads. Which advertisement would interest you more – a random brand or the one you know and trust?

Blocking advertisements is not a new feature, as the edblockers have been available to users before. However, ITP from Apple sets a 24-hour limit for remarketing.

What does this mean for marketers and advertisers?

To begin with, it severely limits the scale and availability of advertising on the Internet. Marketers will lose the ability to track which websites are visited by users of Safari.

What about Google?


In response to Google’s actions on Google in September 2017, launched an innovation, the _gac cookie file, which allows you to obtain more accurate information about the interaction of customers with the company. Google Analytics saves campaign information to a file cookie _gac whenever the user navigates to the site’s URL page with an auto-tagged AdWords.

Cookie_gac will be used to collect campaign and conversion data from Safari in a way that will work in accordance with ITP.

As we know, Google’s first response to Apple’s attempts to protect users from advertising is to create a cookie _gac file, I’m sure Google will continue to work on these restrictions because, in addition, to retargeting, it will lose one more setting for devices on the Google Display Network. in advertising not only to promote applications on smartphones and tablets but also to divide the audience by paying capacity.

As a result, I think Google will be able to bypass Apple’s blocking. With what error, it is still difficult to say, according to our tests, now traffic from Apple devices obtained through retargeting has changed by no more than 5%.

Today, the task to circumvent the limitations of Apple is not only in front of Google but also in front of other services aimed at selling targeted traffic such as Yandex, Criteo, RTB-house, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to record changes from all sources of paid traffic

Instead of confinement

What do you think? Will Google circumvent Apple’s attempts to protect users from obsessive (and not very) advertising? Share your opinion in the comments.

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