Safari Has a Workaround For Attribution; Twitter Tweaks Its Ad Load

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ITP Consolation Prize

WebKit, the software underlying Apple’s Safari browser, introduced a new way to attribute ad clicks on the web in compliance with its Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), built-in tech that strips cross-site tracking from the browser. Safari is prohibiting user-level measurement by bundling campaign and conversion measurement into segments of 64, so companies can run attribution at a relatively granular scale, but can’t carve out individuals, according to a blog post. Safari’s restrictions on third-party vendor tracking apply, so an ad impression and conversion event needs to be identified separately by first-party publishers or merchants, after which Safari (not a measurement firm or agency) confirms the sale. “Critically, our solution avoids placing trust in any of the parties involved – the ad network, the merchant, or any other intermediaries – and dramatically limits the entropy of data passed between them to prevent communication of a tracking identifier,” writes John Wilander, WebKit security and privacy engineer. More.

Open Wide

Twitter has increased ad loads for many prominent users, such as reporters and celebrities, reports the Los Angeles Times. People started registering the increase in ads this week, and Twitter confirmed the changes are part of an experiment. Three years ago, Twitter quietly added many influential users to an ad-free feed or served fewer ads to these individuals because it wanted to maximize their time on platform. Now it appears to be testing the exact opposite strategy. “It’s plausible that Twitter may be trying to increase ad load as a way to sustain revenue growth despite a declining user base,” writes the LA Times. More.

Old Channel, New Tricks

TV’s evolution is slow going, leaving some agency execs wondering if the networks want to change at all. TV networks are rallying around collaborative efforts, like OpenAP for audience standards, but it’s happening in fits and starts. WarnerMedia dropped out of OpenAP in April, and the consortium is only driving about 5% of TV ad spend currently, Business Insider reports. NBCU promised to offer cross-platform delivery through CFlight, but is struggling to sign on other networks. And while most TV networks promised to cut ad load last year, ad time overall increased because buyers weren’t willing to pay a premium associated with fewer ads. With the fate of cross-platform measurement up in the air due to issues at Nielsen and comScore, TV buyers aren’t holding their breath for much change to happen at this year’s upfronts. More.

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