The time has come. It\’s time to be weened off the old ways of data and embrace socially acceptable and better ways of advertising to people.
I could write until I\’m blue in face about the ins and outs of Apples iOS 14.5 consequences, but I wont because you can find a thousand other article and takes on it. Some accurate from where I sit, some woefully ill informed.
What has come out of it for me though, is that Apple in some respects has a point. I liken this moment to when Apple said \’headphone jacks are done. Adapt.\’. And adapt we did. Adapt I eventually did. I dug my heels in and said, \”NO I will stick with my cords and I will never leave my Audio Technica ATH-M50\’s\”. But here I am, Bluetooth connected devices surrounding me. Headphones, a mouse, a keyboard and two mobile phones. The only cable I have is this USB-C one going from my laptop to the monitor. Charges while it transmits an image. Great.
Back to data collected on social media to serve ads.
In the line-up for coffee, Facebook, Google etc collecting data to serve ads is rarely talked about in a positive supportive light by the general populous. For far too long, the platforms have collected too much, for generally, a user experience that has lead to \”better\” targeting, leading to a \”better\” ad experience. I say this in sarcasm drenched quotation marks.
In reality, we have an abundance of old and weird data stored on our accounts, and we are typically targeted by advertisers in a lazy fashion, and retargeted in a even lazier fashion. I clicked on a ad on a surf shop ad once, and damn, if I wasn\’t retargeted for the next year on products I had shown zero interest in.
If all of the data collected is for our benefit, why is the ad experience seemingly \”meh\”.
Take Facebook\’s Automatic Advanced Matching (image below). All of the data in the below image can be collected at the checkout. What does the user gain from that? Facebook says words to the effect of \”better targeting, for a personalised ad experience\”. Does it though? Can that experience be scaled by advertisers? It might help Facebook\’s Power 5 process. Does it help us get better and more relevant ads? As a advertiser, the results may support that it does, but personally and subjectively, I don\’t feel like I get a better experience.
Which brings me back to the coffee line. My barista Sammy, is a bit \’I don\’t want them to collect data on me\’, had a great point.
Sammy said \”I just don\’t like that they collect all this data and I get nothing for it. You\’re profiting off me, at least pay me?\”.
He has a point. From Facebook\’s and Google\’s view, he does get something for it, but the perceived value of that something is of so little value to the end user, because they are not seeing and feeling a benefit.
That\’s the friction point of this battle. Tech giants, we give you a lot, but we users aren\’t seeing much benefit.
At the end of the day, all we are doing as users is performing actions on websites and apps mostly on mobile devices. Server side and event/action learning, without personal data collected could very well be a more palatable way forward to the end user. Do you need what city I live in, or is looking at a product and clicking \’more info\’ a good enough signal of interest and intent?
I believe Apple is doing what it does best. Knowing it\’s users, devising the perfect pitch for a hardcore change, and implementing it without concern for the ecosystem (and later releasing a few products to fit perfectly into that ecosystem).
The industry was from where I sit, not weening itself the cross platform, 3rd party cookie life quick enough. The public is getting increasingly less tolerant of the data collected for the benefit.