iOS 17 Link Tracking Protection: A Minor Update with Limited Impact
Apple recently announced its plans for iOS 17, and one of the key features is the Link Tracking Protection (LTP) update. While this update has gained attention from marketers and eCommerce brands, it’s important to note that it will only affect a very small subset of users. Specifically, ONLY those who use Incognito mode on Safari on iOS 17 and Mac OS Sonoma, this change does not affect other browsers like Google Chrom or Firefox. Let’s dive into the details of this update and understand its implications.
1. Understanding Link Tracking Protection (LTP)
Link Tracking Protection is a feature introduced in iOS 17 that removes certain tracking information from the end of URLs. This primarily affects links shared in iMessages, iMail, and private browsing in Safari. Considering Safari’s popularity as the second most used browser globally, this update is significant for marketers.
2. The Removal of Tracking Parameters
Tracking parameters, also known as query strings, are additional information added to a URL. These parameters play a crucial role in ad attribution and tracking campaign performance. With iOS 17 LTP, Apple will automatically detect and remove known tracking parameters from URLs.
3. Where Tracking Parameters Will be Removed
The impact of LTP will be felt in iMessages, iMail, and
private browsing mode in Safari. These are the specific areas where tracking parameters will be removed. Given the significant user base of iMessage and Apple Mail, this update can have a substantial impact on promotional messages and email marketing campaigns.
4. Trackers Safe from Apple LTP
Apple has compiled a list of trackers from PrivacyTests.org, and it targets these specific trackers and their respective values. Custom parameters like customer_id or utm_campaign do not appear to be affected. This means that certain tracking parameters will remain intact despite the LTP update.
5. Impact on eCommerce and Shopify Brands
For eCommerce brands, especially those using Shopify, the LTP update may have some implications. It can disrupt ad attribution in platforms like Google Ads that rely on tracking parameters like clickID and UTM information. Affiliates using Impact Radius, on the other hand, may not be significantly affected. Additionally, the removal of user-specific parameters from URLs can pose challenges in delivering personalized experiences and creating targeted user segments.
6. Mitigation Plans for Channels
To address the potential impact of LTP, channels like Facebook and Google Ads are exploring alternative mitigation plans. These include incorporating the clickID into a UTM code, using an arbitrary workaround to bypass the LTP, or integrating the clickID in the URL path. While these options may require some adjustments, they can help mitigate the effects of the LTP update.
7. How iOS 17 impacts Deviate Tracking
We don’t expect to have any adverse effects from the above system, and we’ve identified and analyzed a way to rewrite URL parameters with whitelisted url parameters that are unaffected by the changes. If you need this service please contact us directly via the support desk.
In conclusion, while the iOS 17 Link Tracking Protection sounds like it is significant for marketers, it’s essential to note that it only affects a small subset of users. Specifically, those using Incognito mode on Safari on iOS 17 and Mac OS Sonoma. By understanding the implications of this update and exploring alternative mitigation plans, marketers can navigate the changes and continue to thrive in the evolving digital landscape.