The latest iOS 16 update comes with a SKAadNetwork update. StoreKit Ad Network or SKAad Network is an advertising API used by Apple. It is a privacy-focused API that lets developers and advertisers measure ad activity without handing over user data. The latest update brings us to SKAdNetwork 4.0, and Apple is changing some things at the backend.
Apple launched the SKAdNetwork API back in 2018 as a part of iOS 11. It wasn’t well-received at the time, and Apple made several changes to the API, launching version 2.0 with iOS 14, in June 2020. One of the most important updates to SKAdNetwork came with iOS 14.6. Postbacks to advertisers started going through Apple servers to mask the user’s IP addresses from advertisers. Then with iOS 15, the company rolled out more privacy features, further changing the API, which is now getting another update.
According to Apple, the SKAdNetwork 4.0 update “provides more insight into the performance of ads for apps.” As the end user, should you care about how the company updates the API and the degree of data it shares with advertisers?
Apple SKAdNetwork 4.0 update: What’s new?
According to the official changelog, the latest update brings in new hierarchical source identifiers for better campaign identification. Apple has also added coarse conversion values, multiple conversions, and SKAdNetwork for web ads. All of this is to make SKAdNetwork more accurate and private at the same time.
Apple has improved the API to offer more control and insights to advertisers without compromising user privacy. Multiple conversions let advertisers know if an app was installed and see how users engage with it over time.
For now, SKAdNetwork is a privacy-focused API, and iOS 16 also has a ton of privacy features that give users more control. However, Apple has just raised its subscription costs, and there are also talks of more ads coming to the App Store. It is safe to say that companies like Apple and Google are trying to build a subscription model. With tighter data laws, subscriptions and context-based ads are gaining more ground.