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Implications of iOS17 on Google Tag Manager

Tangiblee
Tangiblee
  |  
November 30, 2023
Implications of iOS17 on Google Tag Manager

Apple's recent announcement of iOS 17 has brought forth a slew of new features, providing enhanced user experiences with personalized phone calls, live voice mails, check-ins, and more. However, lurking beneath the surface of these exciting additions are features that spell significant implications for businesses relying on Google Tag Manager (GTM).

While the new features are indeed exciting, iOS 17 also introduces crucial updates to privacy and security measures. Notable among these are link tracking protection and advanced tracking and fingerprinting protection. These features, designed to bolster user privacy, inadvertently cast a shadow over the world of digital tracking.

Implications for Google Tag Manager (GTM)

One of the primary implications of iOS 17 on GTM is the restriction imposed when users engage in private browsing mode or activate advanced tracking protection. This results in the blocking of Google Tag Manager, affecting the loading of crucial analytics, advertising, and other tracking tags. The consequences of this limitation ripple through the entire spectrum of data-driven decision-making for businesses.

Limitation of Tracking in iOS 17

With iOS 17's stringent privacy measures, tracking is significantly curtailed. Businesses relying on GTM for comprehensive data collection now face a substantial reduction in the amount of data available in Google Analytics. This poses a formidable challenge for marketers accustomed to leveraging rich data sets for strategic decision-making and campaign optimization.

Currently, tracking impact is limited. Safari has a 25% share of global browser usage, and approximately 15% of those sessions involve private browsing. With the introduction of iOS 17, tracking will be blocked for about 4% of users. Given Apple's history of implementing Intelligent Tracking Prevention updates, there is a significant concern that this setting could become the default for all Safari browsers in future releases. If GTM were unable to operate on 25% of browsers, it would substantially diminish its advantages.

Recommendations: Direct Install vs. GTM

In light of these developments, a paradigm shift is underway in the recommended approach for implementing tracking and analytics scripts. Direct installation, as opposed to relying on GTM, emerges as a more viable option. While GTM has been a convenient and efficient solution for managing various tags in one place, the limitations imposed by iOS 17 necessitate a reevaluation of this approach.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, adaptability becomes paramount. The implications of iOS 17 on Google Tag Manager underscore the importance of staying informed and agile in the face of technological advancements. Businesses must reassess their tracking strategies, explore alternative solutions, and be prepared to pivot in the pursuit of data-driven success in the post-iOS 17 era.

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