Is your phone listening to you?

Image of You Tube video

“I swear my phone is listening to me!”

Who amongst us hasn’t had that conversation with friends? “I just had a conversation with Homer about holidaying in the Maldives. Up pops an advert for holidays in the Maldives on my Facebook”. Or “I was talking to Marge about a trellis for my garden. The next thing I know Facebook is advertising trellises”. One might be worried that their phone is listening to them!

Well, Apple are about to change all that. At their WWDC 2021 conference yesterday (Worldwide Developers Conference), they announced changes to privacy. Which they hope will prevent such tracking and unsolicited targeted ads.

How will this impact email?

Where these changes may impact us as email marketers is in relation to the new Mail Privacy Protection function in the Mail App. Essentially, it’s designed to allow users to control whether they pull the open mail gif.  This provides ESPs (and by extension our customers) with Open Mail stats, as well as IP and browser information. Watch this YouTube video from the conference. We’ve snipped it from around the 51 mins 20 secs mark to jump straight in. When you watch it you’ll see the pun was intended!

Currently we don’t have the details as to how they’re going to do this. Maybe images will be turned off by default. Perhaps they’ll have a huge list of ESP tracking domains as a lookup. And it’s possible that key indicators such as 1×1 pixel gifs will be detected. When we have more details, we’ll let you all know.

For right now, expect email to change. Email opens is already a soft metric and about to become even softer.