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IDFA and SharpSpring Ads

What is an IDFA?

The Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) is a random device identifier assigned by Apple to a user's device. This unique identifier is used by 3rd parties, such as advertising companies, to track users across the mobile app ecosystem. This identifier has powered much of the retargeting and app install attribution industries up to this point.

What’s new with IDFA?

Apple is continuing to focus on privacy and providing end user’s of their products the ability to control what is and what is not shared.  In iOS 14.5, Apple is introducing a major change to how user’s share their data with 3rd parties. By default, iOS user’s will no longer be sharing their data such as the IDFA. A user will now be asked to share their data with a 3rd party via a privacy framework (Apple’s is called AppTrackingTransparency framework). Prior to iOS 14.5, this was something shared by default unless a user specifically took action to turn it off.  

This small change has significant implications for companies in the advertising space. Both user acquisition and attribution will be impacted when Apple releases iOS 14.5 later this year. Facebook is predicting a large number of users will not opt in to tracking initially and they’ve stated their ad business will see an impact in 2021 due to Apple’s change.

What are our thoughts on it? 

SharpSpring Ads has always been a strong proponent of transparency and privacy. We believe end users should be in control of how their data is used and they should have tools available to them to either allow or disallow the sharing of their personal data. 


How does this change impact SharpSpring Ads?


Similar to all other companies in the ad tech space, SharpSpring Ads is going to be impacted by the introduction of iOS 14.5. We’ll see less reach across our inventory (retargeting on iOS devices is mainly done with an IDFA) and we’ll see a decreased level of conversions that can be assigned to our mobile campaigns (attribution was done using the IDFA).


What are we doing at SharpSpring Ads


We are in the middle of a major shift this year that will see SharpSpring Ads move up the marketing funnel and offer a bunch of new and exciting inventory sources. A couple of items we are excited about are:

  • Smart Audience (a tailored audience specific to your brand)

  • Contextual Targeting

  • Demographic and Interest Based Targeting


In addition to a bunch of new features, we are also working closely with a number of different partners to ensure SharpSpring Ads remains the best, easy to use, marketing platform.