Skip to main content

Twitter politely asks you to protect its targeted ad dollars in new iOS 14.5 prompt

Twitter politely asks you to protect its targeted ad dollars in new iOS 14.5 prompt

/

The company makes its case for enabling ad tracking

Share this story

Twitter’s blue bird silhouette logo is seen on a black background.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

As part of iOS 14.5, Apple’s App Tracking Transparency forces developers to ask permission for something they used to be able to do for free: track iOS users. Today, Twitter is joining the ranks of other developers and adding a prompt that asks users to enable tracking on iOS (via MacRumors).

Twitter’s main justification for listening to its request is straightforward — having the feature enabled allows it to serve “better” ads. The company includes a link to settings so you can make those changes, but read Twitter’s explanation before you decide:

Keep ads relevant to you by allowing Twitter to track data from other companies on this device, like apps you use and websites you visit.

The company also includes a link to a support post in the Twitter help center which explains why it has to ask for permission, includes a link to its current App Privacy Policy, and goes over what enabling or disabling tracking does in iOS.

The new Twitter ad tracking prompt.
The new Twitter ad tracking prompt.

It’s a surprisingly low-key attempt to get users to allow Twitter to track them, considering the company highlighted Apple’s addition of App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14.5 as a potential risk in its recent earnings statement (PDF):

We continue to expect total revenue to grow faster than expenses in 2021, assuming the global pandemic continues to improve and that we see modest impact from the rollout of changes associated with iOS 14.5. How much faster will depend on various factors, including our execution on our direct response roadmap and macroeconomic factors.

Facebook and Instagram took a far more aggressive approach to convince users its use of ad tracking is on the up-and-up — even going as far as including a vague threat that enabling tracking will “help keep Facebook/Instagram free of charge.”

Companies like Twitter and Facebook rely on tracking users to support their separate, often very lucrative ad businesses. After all, it’s usually ad sales that pay for free social networks, and customer data helps to target those ads. As a company that’s more interested in selling hardware and subscription services, Apple doesn’t really have to worry about things like that, but brash changes like the new tracking permissions can leave developers scrambling.

App Tracking Transparency has proven popular, though — around 96 percent of US users are opting out of tracking according to some recent surveys. And with Google considering developing its own methods for blocking tracking on Android, we might just have to get used to apps coming to us and begging for free data.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 25 Not just you

E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 25
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 25
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 25
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.