Could the ios 14 update affect your mobile tracking?

In late June, during a developer conference, Apple announced a new major update to their mobile operating system for their iPhone and iPod devices. It’s expected to be available to the general public later this year, with the beta 4 version currently only available to public testers.

Outside of the main new features, Apple announced an increased focus on privacy, labelling it a “fundamental human right”, being “at the core of everything we do”, also promising more control over data and full transparency of how it’s used. 

This includes a recording indicator for the microphone and camera, approximate location use (instead of precise), as well as changes to the inbuilt web browser Safari, which will now limit cross-site tracking and browser fingerprinting.

Apple have also highlighted privacy features included in their native Maps service, which has became (in the form of Mapkit JS) the mapping service used by DuckDuckGo, a privacy oriented search engine. 

Apple is taking a much stronger stance on user privacy than many similar brands, which has grown uncommon for a global blue chip company.


One of the features which has attracted the most attention is the introduction of app tracking controls and transparency, which will require explicit user permission before they can be tracked. This means that the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), a random device ID that Apple assigns to each device,  can now only be used when a user opts-in, and has do do so on an app-by-app basis.

Instead of the user having to change this in the settings (opting-out), this will now become a popup seeking permission from the user, allowing or denying advertiser access to the IDFA.

Advertisers (and publishers) fear that very few people will opt in (some estimate figures between 10 and 20%). This means that apps will not be able to exchange information by default.


Apple is presenting a privacy-safe alternative in the form of mobile attribution using the SKAdNetwork, explaining how it will operate:

“When a user taps an ad, advertisers display an App Store product screen with signed parameters that identify the ad campaign. If a user installs and opens an app, the device sends an install validation postback to the ad network.

The Apple-signed notification includes the campaign ID but doesn’t include user- or device-specific data. The postback may include a conversion value and the source app’s ID if Apple determines that providing the values meets Apple’s privacy threshold.”

This will allow ad publishers to discover how users have interacted with their adverts without revealing the device’s or user’s identity. From what we know, it looks like advertisers are going to have to adapt to target iOS device users and become less dependant on their data.


In short, no.

Based on the available information, IDFA restrictions will block ad networks, instead operating on a per application basis. It is unlikely that this will affect first-party tracking services which set cookies, such as web analytics (e.g. Google Analytics). Good news!


If you found this update useful, check out our latest blog posts for the latest news, and if you’re interested in finding out more about what we can do for your brand, get in touch with the team today.

TikTok: Myth-busting the hottest app of the year

Are you thinking about including TikTok in your marketing strategy? Or just wanting some knowledge on the topic? In this article we’re going to myth-bust the cultural phenomena that is TikTok and explore how you can look to embed it into your own strategy.

It seems a day doesn’t pass without TikTok appearing in the headlines. Whether you’re a fan or a foe of this scandalously popular platform, you can’t dispute the media storm has placed it at the epicentre of current affairs. TikTok was recently dubbed as having created a ‘completely new subculture’ and the proof is in the pudding with over 2 billion downloads worldwide. 315m of these downloads have happened since lockdown began, the most downloads any app has ever gotten in a single quarter.

800 million of these are now active monthly users, ranking it 7th in the world above the likes of Snapchat, Linkedin and Twitter. But with Donald Trump pushing for a US ban on the app, in addition to subsequent security concerns globally and the introduction of competitor apps (such as Instagram’s Reels launching at the start of August) is it worth you getting involved with the app?

Before you can make that decision, let’s delve into the truth behind seven of the biggest myths surrounding TikTok.

1. TikTok is just for Gen Z

Despite the TikTok’s world domination, many brands are put off from working with them as they believe its audience to be too young. It is undeniably true that the app has a young audience, in fact, it’s estimated that 66% of users are below 30. But this breaks down into a mix of both Gen Zers and Millennials, and the millennial sector of this (along with the older groups) is rising continuously.

As the app slips further into the mainstream we are seeing people of all age groups become involved with it, so don’t be put off by the average age.

2. My brand doesn’t suit TikTok

The issue here lies not with the age of the audience, but the perception of brands and marketers that a younger audience isn’t as valuable. This puts many brands off working with TikTok as they feel it doesn’t ‘suit’ their brand.

However, it’s important to understand the younger audience is the future of the consumer market, and the more brands place themselves into this sphere, the more they will reap the benefits in the long term.

Regardless of their sector, we are now seeing more brands stepping out and working with Tiktok, such as Manscaped, Easy Auto Savings, Chipotle, Turbotax and Experian.

3. You can’t commercialise TikTok

It’s true that, originally, TikTok was concerned with user experience as opposed to potential monetisation. But in June 2020 TikTok introduced TikTok for Business to help brands find their feet on the platform. Spearheaded with the tagline ‘don’t make ads, make TikToks’, the platform invites brands to get creative with their advertising.

They have since introduced several forms of ads, such as in-feed video ads, brand takeovers, hashtag challenges, branded AR content and Custom influencer packages. Before this, TikTok’s main source of monetisation came in the form of ‘coins’, where users can ‘tip’ their favourite creators.

It’s estimated around $456 million  (approx. £347 million) has been spent on TikTok coins since their introduction, and this is how TikTok was previously making their revenue. Following the introduction of ads in 2019, it’s estimated that TikTok’s monthly earnings went from $3.5 million to $14.7 million directly disproving the monetisation concerns around the app.

Charli D’Amelio is the most followed account on TikTok, with over 78million followers and 5.7billion likes

4. Engagement rates are higher across other social media platforms

Previously Instagram has the highest engagement rate however, since TikTok found fame, times have changed. According to a sample of 1000 influencers studied by Influencer Marketing Hub, TikTok’s engagement rates were notably higher than Instagram and Twitter. This comes as no surprise as TikTok’s primary function is for engagement.

TikTok itself postulates that the platform ‘enables everyone to be a creator, and encourages users to share their passion and creative expression through their videos’. The engagement levels prove that encouraging engagement, participation and creativity across the app is working successfully.

5. TikTok is best for targeting the Asian market

TikTok’s roots are deeply embedded in Asia, and this certainly was the first market it found its success. However, since then, TikTok has spread across the world, now active in 155 countries and 75 languages.

According to Route Note, the country with the most users is India, followed by the US. Also among the top 10 are Germany and France, proving that TikTok is rife across all continents, not just Asia.  

6. TikTok’s algorithm is a secret

That was true, up until recently. A few months ago TikTok put rumours to bed by finally revealing the truth behind their algorithm. The factors that affect your feed are; user interactions (content you like/ share, creators you follow, comments posted and content created), video information (i.e. captions, sounds and hashtags) and device and account settings (e.g. language, country and device).

These factors are then devised into indicators of interest. An example of a strong indicator is completion rates of video, whereas a weaker one would be country of origin. This means that feeds are unique, based heavily on interest and activity.  

TikTok has expressed concerns about optimising for personalisation and relevance due to the potential to create ‘filter bubbles’. This is when a user continually sees the type of content they are most likely to engage with. Tiktok has said they making moves to rectify, ensuring they are diversifying feeds to keep their audience interested.

7. You need thousands of followers to go viral

On networks like Instagram, generally, to go viral you need to have a lot of followers. On TikTok, they have moved away from this stating ‘neither follower count nor whether the account has had previous high-performing videos are direct factors in the recommendation system’. This means you can have just a few followers and still go viral, making the process far more authentic.



Heading back to our original question, and with Donald Trump now looking to have TikTok either banned or sold by mid-September, is it worth getting involved?

The details of this answer depend on your brand, location and budget but, on the whole, if you have the capacity test and see what TikTok can do for you. As TikTok continually features in the mainstream media, it will catch the interest of a wider audience which could result in broader popularity. Just like all trends, there will be a peak and a trough. But as we’re now at a point where we’re seeing continuous growth, why not get creative and get involved while you have the chance?


Check out our latest blog posts for the latest news, and if you’re interested in finding out more about what we can do for your brand, get in touch with us today.

Paid Search Updates: July 2020

Google release Google Ads Editor v1.4

Google have now introduced Google Ads Editor v1.4. This has brought two key benefits, with the new update now supporting Recommendations and Local Campaigns.

For your local campaigns, you can now easily search and replace text, move items and undo or redo changes to your local campaigns, in bulk. 

Recommendations provide customised suggestions to help improve your campaign’s performance. To make it easier for you to implement these suggestions at scale, you can now review and apply recommendations across accounts in Google Ads Editor.

  image taken from Google support


Recommendations in Editor are sorted by type, making it easy for you to understand where (and how many) recommendations can be applied in your account. For example, before applying a recommendation you can see how many accounts and campaigns could benefit from its implementation.

New look and feel for responsive search ads 


We now have an improved  look and feel of responsive search ads, with new and updated creative layouts, automatically generated video and more engaging ads to drive online sales. Three new responsive display ad layouts have been rolled out, each using automated image enhancements, including smart image cropping and text overlays. These new layouts have been designed to help you improve performance and deliver even more engaging ads.


According to Google, over 60 per cent of shoppers say that online videos have given them ideas or inspiration for their purchase, and adding video to your responsive display ads can result in five per cent more conversions at a similar CPA. To make things simpler and faster, Google can automatically create video ads for you by using your existing image and text assets.

We’ve also seen an improved look and feel of dynamic display ads, which now includes a single-image layout to highlight individual products. These new formats will now display your company name alongside your logo to help convey your brand’s offerings clearly. If selected, the optional “promotion” text will become more visible in most ad sizes.

Google testing different font sizes in ad headlines


We’ve recently seen Google test different font sizes in the ads for headlines, with Headline 1 now in a much larger font that normal. It also sits on a different line to the other headline(s) rather than sitting close together and flowing onto the next line. It appears only some users are seeing this at the moment.

Left is how they look normally, with the new style on the right:


Improvements made to Smart Shopping


We now have a ‘New Customer Acquisition’ goal in Smart Shopping campaign settings. Google have also added more visual features so the format in which your products are displayed will also respond to your customers’ needs.

For example, a customer may see a video Display ad from your Smart Shopping campaign to help showcase relevant products to them in that moment. They may also see a more immersive, browsable experience with a carousel of your most relevant products. 



Check out our latest blog posts for the latest news, and if you’re interested in finding out more about what we can do for your brand, get in touch with us today.