An ad blocking feature first appeared with Apple’s iOS 6. Now we’re up to iOS 10, and the feature is still a little too popular for marketers’ tastes.
October research showed that just above 20 percent of iOS devices in the U.S. have opted-in to the OS’s limit ad tracking feature.
Global data shows a similar trend. When the mobile attribution and analytics provider known as adjust analyzed data from iOS devices on its platform running iOS 10 or later, it found that 18 percent of worldwide users had enabled the limit ad tracking option.
“iOS devices users in the U.S. were more likely than those elsewhere in the Americas to turn the limit ad tracking feature on, at 20.5 percent,” according to eMarketer. “Canada followed with 14.4 percent. The Latin American audiences studied each had tracking turned off on less than 10 percent of devices.”
Interestingly, before iOS 10 was released, activating the feature did not completely eliminate ad tracking. In fact, users could still be targeted by ad networks (until they updated or got a new phone with the new OS).
“That means that as more mobile users download iOS 10 (or get their hands on the iPhone 7) the feature could increase in popularity as its functionality increases,” notes eMarketer. “In iOS 10, users can fully opt out of interest-based ads by making their unique advertiser identifier number blank.”
In the “old days,” iPhone users could only reset their identifier numbers, which opened the door to mobile ad networks retargeting ads.
Battling ad blockers is a continuing effort in the advertising ecosphere. Industry analysts and practitioners have offered a multitude of suggestions for staunching the growth of ad blocking — among them, better ad personalization, smarter re-targeting, and more interesting and relevant advertising in general.