Tenjin recently announced its ability to track iOS installs using mobile web cookies.
Using cookies to track iOS installs may seem like an incremental feature for mobile marketing technology. However, as this technology becomes better understood, it will dramatically simplify how marketers create mobile ad campaigns via ad networks and other marketing channels.
So let's ask the BIG question:
How will this change the way the mobile ad industry functions?
Ever since the iPhone was first released, there have been primarily two ways to track installs from ad networks on mobile:
Parameters passing advertising ID on clicks - ad networks allow marketers to pass device parameters like IDFA and GAID to third parties in tracking URLs.
Fingerprinting technology - if ad networks don't support the ability to pass device parameters, like IDFA and GAID through tracking URLs, then technologies that detect mobile browser characteristics try to match click attributes with device attributes.
The issues with using these methods are that they are either too sophisticated to build and implement (#1) or they are inaccurate (#2).
With mobile web cookies, advertisers no longer have either of these barriers. They can get accurate results with a very easy-to-use implementation by simply using URL links that enable cookies.
The future of advertising on mobile is going to be reliant on this type of technology and it's important to understand how this will enable the marketer to be more effective.
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Update: September 6, 2016 -- We have removed the functionality to read cookies via a SafariViewController from the latest version of our iOS SDK in accordance with Apple's App Store guidelines.