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Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA)

What is IDFA

The identifier for advertisers, or IDFA is a unique ID assigned by Apple to a user's iOS device. This ID is used by advertisers to track data to deliver customized advertising.

IDFA is quite similar to browser cookies in tracking, but unlike cookies, the identifier for advertisers will track user data till they manually reset or disable it (turn on the Limited Ad Tracking option).

Apple introduced IDFA in 2016 with iOS 6, which included the option to reset the IDFA. Later, Apple introduced Limited Ad Tracking (LAT) with the release of iOS 12. In 2021, Apple released iOS 14.5 and involved user's consent as well.

Android Advertising ID

The android counterpart of IDFA is AAID. The Android Advertising ID or AAID is an identifier assigned to every Android device by Google. It is mainly used to advertise and market and seeks to provide users with more control over their ad-related data and preferences compared to the older Android ID, which was less user-friendly and was a permanent identifier.

One significant feature of the Android Advertising ID is that users have control over it. They can reset their AAID or opt out of personalized advertising entirely from the device settings. Apps can access AAID through Android Advertising ID API but must request users' permission for this.

How does IDFA work

An IDFA is generated when a user sets up an iOS device or restores it to factory settings. Starting with iOS 14.5, Apple introduced App Tracking Transparency (ATT) to obtain explicit user consent before tracking their activity. When a user consents to tracking the IDFA tracks user behavior in the app. Advertisers can leverage this data to build user profiles and deliver targeted ads. Users can reset or disable their IDFA through their device privacy settings. IDFA can also measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns, and track app installs, clicks, and more.

Importance of IDFA

Identifier for advertisers comes with numerous benefits and they are as follows.

  • Targeted ads: IDFA helps advertisers deliver relevant and personalized ads. IDFA helps advertisers track user preferences and make data-driven decisions.
  • User attribution: IDFA is important for attributing user actions to specific ad sources. It helps understand which ads or campaigns garner more downloads or in-app purchases.
  • Ad fraud prevention: IDFA helps prevent ad fraud by enabling advertisers to identify and avoid malicious players and fraudulent activities- click frauds or device farms.
  • Personalized user experience: Identifiers for advertisers can help personalize the overall user experience with apps.

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