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A slew of privacy updates that Apple announced in June at its annual developer conference are officially kicking in, thanks to iOS 15, which rolls out today.
Refresher: In short, these new features will make it harder for marketers to glean info from Apple users. For instance, users will now be able to prevent marketers from knowing if they opened an email in the Mail app. And a new privacy service built into iCloud masks traffic in Safari, making users less traceable.
- Of course, this is far from Apple’s first privacy rodeo. You’re probably aware of its “App Tracking Transparency” feature that rolled out earlier this year, which is why apps keep asking you if they can track you across the internet (spoiler alert: most people say no).
While Apple gives its customers more privacy options, industry insiders believe the company is using the opp to build out its own advertising offering. As Ad Age wrote last week, “advertisers believe the more Apple shuts off data to outsiders, the more it will be compelled to enter the advertising void.” In May, Apple rolled out a new way for brands to reach users in its App Store by adding a new ad slot to its Search tab.
Zoom out: Even as it grows, Apple’s ad business is small potatoes compared with other tech giants. Its App Store advertising will bring in roughly $2 billion during this fiscal year, per estimates from Cowen & Co. cited by the Wall Street Journal. For comparison, Google earned $147 billion in online ad revenue last year.—MS