Starting with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Apple introduced a new toggle during the setup process that makes it easier for users to turn off personalized ads in Apple apps such as the App Store, Apple News, and Stocks.
In a presentation shared with advertisers, Apple cited internal data showing that, in the first quarter of 2022, 78% of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 search volume on the App Store was from devices with Personalized Ads turned off across all countries and regions where Apple's Search Ads business is available.
Apple's presentation emphasizes that advertisers can reach interested users without applying audience targeting to their search results campaign. In the first quarter of 2022, Apple's internal data shows that Search Ads had a 62.1% average conversion rate for iOS 15 users with Personalized Ads turned on versus 62.5% for iOS 15 users with Personalized Ads turned off across all countries and regions where Search Ads are available.
Apple said search terms are a direct signal of intent, with the presentation stating that 70% of App Store visitors use search to find their next app.
Apple's personalized ads rely solely on first-party data. In the App Store and Apple News, for example, Apple says a user's search and download history may be used to serve them relevant search ads. In Apple News and Stocks, ads are served based partly on what a user reads or follows, including publishers they have enabled notifications for.
It's worth noting that this data is unrelated to the App Tracking Transparency privacy feature, which only applies to apps using third-party data to track users.
How to turn off Personalized Ads
If you don't want personalized ads in Apple News, in the App Store, you can go to Go to Settings > Privacy > Apple Advertising and toggle the "Personalized Ads" switch to off.
What does this mean for marketing?
If Apple's internal data is accurate, it suggests that advertisers can reach interested users without applying audience targeting to their search results campaign.
It is too early to tell, what the long-term implications of Apple's changes for app marketing and advertising will be. However, the short-term impact is likely to be an increase in the cost-per-click (CPC) for App Store keywords as advertisers compete for a smaller pool of users.
Additionally, advertisers may need to adjust their targeting strategies to reach users who have opted out of Personalized Ads. Apple's data shows said that Search Ads is an effective way to reach users who have opted out of Personalized Ads. We think that this trend will only continue.
For many apps, it will mean a move away from relying on audience targeting and focusing on more traditional marketing techniques, such as keyword research and optimization. It will also mean that app developers will need to put more effort into making their apps visible in search results.
While the changes may be a challenge for some app developers, they could also level the playing field, making it easier for small and independent developers to compete against larger companies.
As always, we will keep you updated on any changes and their impact on your app marketing strategy. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.
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