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What iOS 17 Update Means for You and Your Business

What Does the iOS 17 Update Mean for You and Your Business?

Apple is touting its latest iOS 17 technology as a way to "improve the things you do every day" through user-friendly updates to existing apps and features. The online preview of iOS 17 teases highly visual improvements alongside intuitive user experience changes that promise to increase connectivity and generally streamline the act of sharing selective information, but what does all this mean for user information shared behind the scenes?

In a press release in Apple's Newsroom, a major privacy and security update is coming via a powerful new iOS 17 feature: Connection Tracking Protection. This feature will automatically remove tracking parameters from links you click through Apple's native apps, such as Mail, Messages, and Safari Private Browsing mode, without affecting the functionality of those links.

How does it work?

Link Tracking Protection detects and automatically removes user-identifiable tracking parameters (extra pieces of information added to the end of a URL, such as UTMs), making it harder for websites to track users' online behavior and ultimately consumer journeys from site to site. However, it becomes more difficult to identify the multiple networks and channels that often contribute to a single conversion.

From User to Marketer - Who will be affected by iOS 17?

The update has its own limitations - for now. For users, browsing through any non-Apple entity (Chrome, Firefox) or in standard Safari mode will mean that tracking parameters will remain intact, and while it will be automatically enabled for Apple's ecosystem, it will give users a little more control over whether or not they prefer this higher level of security. Essentially, Apple can't completely eliminate tracking as a path to transformation, which bodes well for marketers with an attribution solution that goes beyond the tools built into Google and Facebook, the platforms that will be directly affected by iOS 17.

What Does This Mean for Performance and Attribution Measurement?

When consumers interact with multiple touchpoints and their associated marketing techniques before making a final purchase decision, we know that holistic campaign tracking is now more important than ever. That sounds scary if you're looking at iOS 17's Link Tracking Protection through a narrow performance monitoring lens rather than a system built specifically to support multi-touch attribution. So you can get a complete picture of your conversion rate, ROI and revenue depending on your model.

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