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Apple dropped some major announcements during WWDC 2023. Let’s be real, the things we are going to discuss today aren’t as mind-blowing as the new Apple Vision Pro. However, it’s definitely going to have a direct impact on advertising campaigns on iOS very soon.

SKAdNetwork 5

Apple unveiled the new version of SKAdNetwork at WWDC 2023. Right now, there’s no official documentation out yet, so we have to rely on what was said during the event. We don’t know a whole lot about SKAdNetwork 5, except that it’s dropping sometime in 2023 and it’s going to support re-engagement.

SKAdNetwork 5 release date

SKAdNetwork 5 release date

Here’s the deal: previous SKAdnetwork releases didn’t necessarily coincide with new iOS releases so advertisers don’t need to expect it to be bundled with iOS 17. However, it might be released together with the next versions of iOS 17.

SKAdNetwork 4 came out alongside iOS 16.1 on October 27th, 2022. Who knows, maybe Apple will take a similar approach with SKAdNetwork 5?

SKAdNetwork 5 and re-engagement

SKAdNetwork 5 and Re-engagement

Apple made a point that this version is all about re-engagement:
“SKAdNetwork 5 will support measuring re-engagement. In addition to measuring conversions after a user downloads your app, you’ll also be able to measure conversions after a user opens your app by tapping on an ad.”

From the way they worded it, it seems like they’re talking about measuring conversions for users who already have the app installed.

Privacy Manifest & Nutrition Labels

If most of us were already familiar with SKAdNetwork, Privacy Manifest is something new.

Let’s dive into the original source. Apple’s description of the new Privacy Manifest goes like this:

“The Privacy Manifest is a file for outlining the privacy practices of third-party code in an iOS app, in a single standard format. When developers prepare to distribute their app, Xcode will combine the privacy manifests across all the third-party SDKs that a developer is using into a single, easy-to-use report. With one comprehensive report that summarizes all the third-party SDKs found in an app, it will be even easier for developers to create more accurate Privacy Nutrition Labels.”

Do you know those boxes at the bottom of every App Store page that show us what kind of data an app collects? Yeah, those are the Privacy Nutrition Labels.

SKAdNetwork 5 / SKAN 5 Privacy Manifest Nutrition Label example

Learn more about Privacy Nutrition Labels here.

So far, developers have been self-reporting that information, but it’s going to be done automatically with the privacy manifests.

Privacy Manifest & Tracking

Privacy Manifest and Tracking

Now, back to Apple’s announcement:

“To offer additional privacy protection for users, apps referencing APIs that could potentially be used for fingerprinting — a practice that is prohibited on the App Store — will now be required to select an allowed reason for usage of the API and declare that usage in the privacy manifest. As part of this process, apps must accurately describe their usage of these APIs, and may only use the APIs for the reasons described in their privacy manifest.”

More about this is in the official Apple documentation.

We are missing a couple of more details to see how this is going to affect the mobile publishers. Luckily, they should be revealed later this year. Here is the list:

  • A list of privacy-impacting SDKs (third-party SDKs that have a particularly high impact on user privacy)
  • A list of “required reason” APIs for which an allowed reason must be declared
  • A developer feedback form to suggest new reasons for calling covered APIs
  • Additional documentation on the benefits of and details about signatures, privacy manifests, and when they will be required

It’s still too early to draw any concrete conclusions about SKAdNetwork 5 and Privacy Manifest. We need to wait for more updates from Apple. The good news is we won’t have to wait too long, because we’ll get more information on both in 2023.

Stay tuned and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter below for more updates on the topic.

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