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When the connective tissue of device ids is surgically removed…


Image Credit: Image by Karin Van ham from Pixabay


The IDFA has been the defining link allowing companies in the mobile marketplace to function seamlessly. Industry reliance upon the IDFA has been negatively impacted by Apple’s decision to enforce User Privacy and Data Use effectively placing each developer on their own “privacy island”.

Industry reliance on the IDFA, has extracted a substantial penalty from developers:

  • Results Measurement from paid user acquisition

  • Monetization Revenue from the display of in-app ads

  • Ads personalization and targeting

The reason for this is simple – the IDFA is the tie that binds the mobile ecosystem (iOS). 


Whether conscious or unconscious, the absence of clear guidance from Apple led some to adopt a wait and see approach. Some were clearly overwhelmed by the scope of ATT and others failed to recognize the magnitude of the change. 

 Regardless, there may have been groups unable or unwilling to accept the finality of Apple’s decision who failed to act from paralysis or out of body experience; a minority who hoped Apple would realize the impact and provide some form of “safe harbor” exception, that would lead to much less disruption or rollback. However, on April 26, 2021 when Apple launched iOS 14.5, and began to enforce User Privacy and Data Use rules – any remaining doubts vanished.



An article from Eric Seufert talked about the impact IDFA Opt-in was having, when he wrote, “as of last week, over 70% of iOS devices have upgraded to a version of iOS that requires compliance with Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) privacy policy… According to data from Tenjin, mobile ad spend on iOS has decreased by about 1/3rd since the beginning of June. Singular reports roughly the same, while also having observed a 50% decrease in 90-day LTV for acquired iOS users.”


In the past year, there have been days when it seems as if there were back to back announcements of game company acquisitions on a daily basis. 


In the 12 months since WWDC 2020, 132 acquisitions were announced, nearly one third of all transactions since June 22, 2016.


In the past year, 100 game companies were acquired by other Game Companies, an increase of 263% over the prior year total of 38 acquisitions.


Whether intentional or not, the creation of ATT establishes an island based penal system giving Apple exclusive rights as the de facto warden overseeing the islands. This brave new world of private island living is no longer just for the ultra wealthy, nor is it a voluntary choice. It is an act of compliance and forced self-reliance to have the best chance for long term survival. 

Survival on the island depends on the vision, the team culture, and available environments for island living. Any island may work for a time, however, review the following islands and overlay your vision and team culture onto the island, and you may be able to gather some insight:

  • Gilligan’s Island. A group of castaways on a pleasure cruise are swept away by a typhoon and crash on an uninhabited island

  • Fantasy Island. Pay to live on the island and fulfill your fantasies. However, your presence on the island may be the result of another’s fantasy

  • Treasure Island. Be warned. If the primary motivation is treasure, be aware of others greed and those who mask their feelings making it difficult to discern their motivation 

  • Mystery Island. Fear of the unknown will keep people away, however, get familiar with your surroundings, prepare yourselves, exercise care and, follow best practices

Decisions made before you start will go a long way towards preparing you for island survival. 


John Koetsier says it best –

“Business as usual is over for mobile app marketers. The way we’ve done mobile growth for a decade is largely dead on iOS, and the clock is ticking on Android too. Without deterministic device-level attribution, we will require a whole new set of data expertise and modern marketing tools.”


Appfluencer helps App Developers with privacy compliant campaign automation. Advertising is still the primary means for user acquisition and it’s important for developers to take control of their destiny and manage as much of the process as possible. 

The Appfluencer Platform is a fully automated system that works independent of device identifiers and has been integrated across multiple DSPs.


We’re looking to partner with companies who want help getting back to the results you’ve come to expect as opposed to those you’ve been forced to accept.