Post-IDFA vs Post-ATT: What’s the Difference?

February 23, 2021
Post-IDFA vs Post-ATT: What’s the Difference?

With iOS 14.5 update around the corner, you’ve probably heard of the terms “Post-IDFA” or “Post-ATT” being thrown around a lot. You’re probably wondering – What do each of these terms mean and what’s the difference?

Let’s start with Post-IDFA

Post-IDFA refers to a future when the use of IDFA in mobile marketing will be significantly reduced. This is true because once the iOS 14.5 update kicks in, SKAdNetwork, Apple’s privacy centric attribution framework, will go into effect. With SKAdNetwork, postbacks will not contain any user level data, including IDFA (regardless of whether the user opts in or out), hence the “Post-IDFA” name. 

Now onto Post-ATT

Post-ATT refers to a future when Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy goes into effect (with iOS 14.5 update). With ATT, publishers will be required to ask users for permission to share their IDFA which previously was not the case. Publishers will also need to adopt the SKAdNetwork attribution framework to measure their traffic.

Let’s recap:

Post-IDFA refers to a future where a specific user identifier will no longer be used – IDFA.

Post-ATT refers to a future after a specific point in time – ATT going into effect, with the release of iOS 14.5.

So, what’s the difference?

Aside from the names, there’s no real difference. You can argue that Post-ATT is more accurate because it refers to a point in time but Post-IDFA is just as accurate because IDFA will not be shared in SKAdNetwork postbacks. Both refer to the coming changes that will come with iOS 14.5. One refers to a specific identifier whereas the other refers to a point in time.

Heck you can even make a case for “Post-iOS14.5” but for consistency’s sake, let’s stick with “Post-IDFA” and “Post-ATT.”

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