1/ I wish it were this simple. Unfortunately, allowing access to the IDFA allows a heck of a lot more than just personalized ads. Eric’s point is valid though, the combination of SKAdNetwork and App Tracking Transparency don’t actually give consumers choice.
2/ When a consumer allows tracking, they are allowing anything that app might do with any of their data. And for personalized ads to even work in this paradigm, they have to allow tracking for multiple apps, not just Facebook/Instagram/Google Chrome/Whatever.
3/ Real consumer choice would be a beefed up SKAdNetwork with modes for personalization ON or OFF. With personalization on, SKAdNetwork would allow apps like Instagram to get 100% conversion tracking when the consumer allows personalization.
4/ This would allow Instagram to better personalize ads, but prevent the kind of bulk data collection by shadow companies that proliferated with the IDFA. As I’ve said, I actually like Instagram ads and would turn on personalization, but I’m not going to allow blanket tracking.
5/ Instead, Apple chose to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Advertising isn’t inherently evil, nor is measuring the response to that advertising as Apple itself is doing for its own apps!
6/ To @eric_seufert’s point, I can absolutely envision an alternate universe where Apple took a more thoughtful approach to privacy instead of preaching privacy fundamentalism while not even practicing what they preach. A good read to wrap up this thread: stratechery.com/2019/privacy-f…

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More from @drbarnard

4 Feb
Steps to reproduce:
1. Search a high traffic keyword like wallpapers, scanner, VPN, etc.
2. Download the top 5 search results
3. At least one (often multiple) will be shady apps pushing expensive weekly subscriptions using various dark patterns
4. Get mad at Apple all over again
2/ More steps to reproduce:
1. Browse TikTok and tap on app ads until you find a shady subscription app
2. Start a free trial in that app (TikTok has now identified you as an easy mark)
3. Tap on any new app ads you see and explore just how bad things really are on the App Store
3/ I spent a couple hours doing this on TikTok and sending the apps to Apple. Most are still up. Example: $2/week for a handful of bad live wallpapers (ad on TikTok was nothing like the app) apps.apple.com/us/app/aquariu…
Read 20 tweets
21 Nov 20
1/ This is one area where Apple holds itself to same or higher standards than they hold 3rd party developers to. At least according to their written policies. A thread:
2/ Developers can use the IDFV to individually identify all users across their portfolio of apps & collect as much data as they want. Apple doesn’t prevent Facebook from doing that. Apple is preventing them from tracking users across any app (with their SDK installed) and the web
3/ Facebook’s accusations ring hollow unless they can point to specific ways in which Apple is leveraging it’s data to unfairly compete with Facebook and 3rd party developers. The privacy as a cover for profit also rings hollow for so many reasons.
Read 11 tweets
20 Nov 20
1/ One thing a lot of people forget in the App Store take rate discussion is that Stripe only operates in 42 countries, doesn’t automatically collect/pay sales tax, doesn’t handle local compliance, etc. There are Stripe apps you can pay to handle some of that, but not all.
2/ The App Store operates in 166 countries, collects and pays all taxes, handles local compliance, etc. Calculating the overlap would be a PITA, but after a quick look at my revenue this year, I’d guess I earn at least 5% more because of all the additional App Store countries.
3/ China alone (where Stripe doesn’t operate) is 1.5% of my revenue and has been higher in the past. So, the 15% I’ll be paying Apple in 2021 really feels more like 10% because they help me make an additional 5% with support for all those additional countries.
Read 12 tweets
19 Nov 20
Exactly. Most apps don’t flirt with $1M, they blow right past it. And many of those will be subscription apps with some growing percentage of revenue on the 85/15 subscription split. Which means it’s not that one day you’re paying 15% on all revenue, the next you’re paying 30%.
2/ There’s been a lot of focus on the $1M threshold (including by me), but I’m warming up to it not being an issue. It’s like the tax arguments about how raising taxes on people making over $400k will disincentive people from making over $400k. That’s just not at all how it works
3/ Here’s a more nuanced discussion on why it’s probably not a big deal. As @jeiting mentions there’s also a lot of precedence for businesses facing new taxes and regulations as they scale. subclub.co/episode/app-st…
Read 5 tweets
28 Aug 20
1/ With rumors flying that Apple is delaying the iOS 14 privacy changes, I thought I’d share some nuance on why that would be a good thing.
2/ Apps being able to do cost-effective marketing ultimately benefits everyone involved: consumers, Apple, developers, ad networks, and even the thousands of growth/ad tech/infrastructure companies (including @RevenueCat) that help facilitate that marketing.
3/ Most apps need to make money to be worth building and updating. And being able to measure marketing spend is an important part of the complex App Store economy that powers so many of the great apps we depend on every day.
Read 9 tweets
27 Aug 20
1/ The recent brouhaha about Apple’s ad personalization being on by default missed an important point: Facebook’s ad personalization is also on by default, the IDFA isn’t needed in its own apps. @benthompson did a great job addressing the nuance in today’s @StratecheryMO email Image
2/ Facebook can collect as much data as they want (or can legally) in the Facebook app, Instagram, Whatsapp, etc. and then use that for ad personalization. iOS 14 only limits their collection of data in 3rd party apps (including advertised apps and apps that display ads).
3/ If you actually read Apple’s privacy policy around data collection and campaign measurement, they hold themselves to a much higher standard than Facebook, Google, and other ad networks. Image
Read 7 tweets

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