The new iOS 14.5 update for iPhone users comes with a new anti-app tracking feature. While users will consider this feature as very good, app developers will not be very happy. In fact, Facebook has frowned at this system since it was first announced. However, Apple is not relenting and insists that users must take control. Presently, we already have early reports on users’ preference with this transparency feature. According to Apple App tracking analysis, since the official release of iOS 14.5 on April 26th, a vast majority of iPhone users are opting against app tracking.
A recent data from an analytics company, Flurry, claims that only 4% of iPhone users in the United States actively choose to allow App tracking after updating their devices to iOS 14.5. The data is based on a sample survey of 2.5 million daily active mobile users. However, as the sample size increases to 5.3 million users (globally), the number increases to 12%.
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With the release of iOS 14.5, applications must now request and obtain user permission before accessing the device’s random advertising identifier. This is used to track user activities on the application and website. Users can enable or disable the ability of applications to request tracking of them. However, on iOS 14.5, this feature is not active by default. Users who want to prevent app tracking will have to activate it manually.
Furthermore, Flurry claims that since the rollout of iOS 14.5 almost two weeks ago, the app tracking acceptance rate has been relatively stable. Initially, it was at 4% but quickly rose to about 12%. Since then, it has been hovering between 11% – 13% globally. However, in the U.S., the app tracking acceptance rate hovers around 2% – 5%.
Facebook frowns at the anti-app tracking feature
Facebook is fiercely against the anti-app tracking (ATT) feature. In fact, the company is already sending messages to users telling them that if they want to keep Facebook and Instagram for “free”, then they must allow tracking. This sentiment seems to go against the social network’s earlier statement that ATT will have a “controllable” impact on its business and may even benefit Facebook in the long run.
There is no indication that Facebook or Instagram plans to launch a paid version of the apps. Whether or not Facebook will release paid versions of these apps remains to be seen. However, the app tracking feature is not as bad as many users think. The app tracking feature needs to see users’ activities on the app. This will enable the app to send specific or targeted ads to users. This way, you will probably get ads that will mostly be of interest to you. It is important to note that activating the anti-app tracking feature will not take away the ads. It will only probably cause users to receive “useless” ads that will be of no interest to them.