Apple is making its mobile apps record customer information to show targeted ads

Apple is mounting a fresh challenge to Google’s mobile advertising dominance by turning its mobile apps into consumer data sources.

A new set of guidelines issued by Apple instructs all its mobile developers to include Advertising Identifiers within the apps they submit for the iTunes Store. This is a way for each Apple mobile device to be identified through a unique ID and shown targeted ads through the app. In addition, the app must have built in ad display capabilities. This requirement extends only to apps that are looking to monetize through advertisements (so don’t expect to see ads in your Whatsapp messages just yet.)

This effectively turns every app on your iPhone into a display advertising opportunity for Apple. If Google dominates the display ads within your web content, Apple is leveraging the many apps that operate on its iOS operating system. Coupled with the vast amounts of information Apple keeps on its customers, this is an effective channel to target customers with ads that are relevant to them, and crucially, shown at the right time of day.

In addition to customer targeting, Apple is adding more ad formats in its network. For users, this means they can expect to see bigger display ads, (the kind that take up your entire phone screen) as well as pre-roll video ads. 

Brands and agencies will be able to place ads in these in-app displays through Apple’s iAD network, which is currently offered in 16 countries, with plans to expand into Russia and Switzerland.

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