What do Twitter Ads iOS14 and SKAdnetwork changes mean for your campaigns?

What do Twitter Ads iOS14 and SKAdnetwork changes mean for your campaigns?
October 20, 2020 Simon Whittick

Last updated: 29/01/21

This post is part of a series of posts called “How key mobile media channels are responding to iOS14 and SKAdnetwork: Everything you need to know in one place”. In this post we explore in detail how Twitter Ads campaigns will be impacted by Apple’s decision to make IDFA access opt-in for users. You can get detail for the other top iOS Self Attributing Networks (SANs) using the links below:

What is Twitter Ads iOS share of wallet?

To start, let’s look at how significant iOS spend is for Twitter Ads. We recently looked at ad spend by Operating System (OS) in a benchmark report of our customers. Twitter Ads spend leans heavily towards iOS with 88% there compared to just 12% on Android.

Twitter Ads OS Revenue Split

However, amongst our customer base that translates to just a 1% overall share of wallet on iOS. This makes them the fifth biggest SAN behind Facebook, Apple Search Ads (ASA), Google UAC and Snapchat.

Twitter Ads iOS Share of Wallet

For more information on iOS share of wallet, download our quarterly benchmark report.

Get the Report

What is Twitter Ads doing about IDFA losses?

Across Twitter Ads’ marketing pages they have this announcement:

“As part of our preparation for Apple’s iOS 14 IDFA changes (scheduled to begin in early 2021), we have integrated with SKAdNetwork (SKAN). Through SKAN, Apple will make only a limited number (100) of SK-campaign IDs (SKIDs) available for each advertised app. Twitter will reserve 30 of the 100 IDs to ensure we are able to continue developing and improving ad products. Please note these changes could affect your ability to manage your App Install campaigns and will take effect on the dates noted: 

On October 1, 2020, we will start applying SK-campaign IDs (SKID) to your live and scheduled ad groups. This means the new 70 SKID limit will begin on October 1st, and any campaigns with more than 70 ad groups will be paused. 

We will provide additional updates here, as well as through your Twitter account team.”

The key pieces of information here are:

  • They will be using SKAdnetwork (SKAN) for iOS14 campaigns.
  • This places limits on account structures. Like Facebook they are holding back some SK-campaign IDs for their own testing and learning. This leaves you 70 ad groups to play with in your iOS14 campaigns.

Despite this announcement there’s a few open questions and assumptions that we need to observe:

  • Will they be passing SKAN data back to MMPs? We would assume, yes. However, there could be some limitations around this much like we see with Facebook.
  • Will they be using the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework to collect IDFAs for iOS14 users on their own apps? Unlike Facebook’s, this announcement doesn’t say they won’t collect IDFAs where they can.
  • iOS14 data won’t be real-time. As per the SKAN limitations, it will be delayed by a day or so.
  • What will be the impact on Twitter Custom Audiences for iOS14? Like Facebook’s Custom Audiences, it could be that Twitter campaigns are limited to App Activity Audiences on iOS14.

What does it mean for your Twitter campaigns?

As with all channels there’s still a lot of open questions, but here’s a few areas you need to immediately consider with Twitter campaigns:

  • Account restructure: If you’re a large scale advertiser, the limit of 70 ad groups per iOS app may require some consolidation of ad groups. Spend some time restructuring  iOS14 ad groups to within the 70 limit to avoid having your campaigns paused.
  • View-through attribution: Much like other social channels, Twitter performs better up-funnel. With the loss of view-through attribution, anticipate a drop-off in perceived performance when Apple implements these changes. As we’ve mentioned earlier, predictive modelling is likely to be a go to solution so it’s a good time to start exploring this using data from previous versions of iOS and opted-in iOS14 data.
  • Delayed data: As with Facebook, the use of SKAN will delay iOS14 data by a few days. After Apple launches these changes avoid knee jerk reactions on the previous days data as performance might level out after a couple of days.
  • Performance Fluctuations: With Twitter holding back SK-campaign IDs for themselves it’s clear that they will be testing and learning in this new world of iOS14. Expect their algorithms to go into a learning period and performance to fluctuate for a time. As with other channels, if you can move some iOS14 budget to Android in the short-term to hit performance metrics then do.

Concluding thoughts

This change clearly places some constraints on your iOS14 Twitter campaigns. However, this isn’t apocalyptic, it’s simply a case of adjusting campaigns for this new world. There are still returns and users for you on Twitter in the future if there are today.

There are going to be reporting challenges as SKAN limits visibility and makes fair evaluation of performance across device types and channels harder. Here at Appsumer this kind of data complexity is what we thrive on. We’re building the most complete SKAdNetwork Reporting & Modelling solution to deliver you transparency on different metrics and a full performance view despite SKAdNetwork’s limitations. You can read more on that here or get in touch to discuss specific solutions for your challenges.

For now, give us a shout if you have any questions and check back here as we update this resource when more announcements are made in the coming month.

P.S. Don’t forget you can get more detail that we’ve put together by media channel using these links: