It has been a few months since iOS 14 was officially released. Since then, developers have been adapting to the changes and trying many ATT prompt and pre-prompt (or context screen) strategies to maintain their revenue while supporting a positive player experience.
But what strategies work the best, and why? While it’s still early to make any broad assumptions, here’s what we’ve learned as of now (June 21, 2021).
About the data
We reviewed current implementations of ATT prompts within games on Unity’s ad network that provided at least 500 ATT authorized (opted in) impressions between the dates of June 12-13. These games spanned a range of app categories, and our goal was to understand how publishers were implementing the prompts and the subsequent opt-in rates. We used the 50th percentile for games opt-in % instead of the average to minimize the impact of outliers.
The data included in our findings is limited to games on our network who met our criteria, and may continue to change as iOS 14.5+ adoption grows and user attitude toward privacy matures.
We also excluded game data for games that we surveyed that were explicitly contradicting Apple’s requirements (such as using the word “Allow” for the affirmative answer in an ATT specific pre-prompt). Below is a distribution of the game types from our sample:
Variations to the ATT prompt
1. Lines of text
The default ATT prompt text is two lines of text, though we observed many variations in the text length.
For example, prompts with a length of 4 lines received the highest opt-in rates of 30.14%, closely followed by 5, 6+, and 3 respectively. Interestingly, string lengths of 1 and 2 were lowest.
2. Language matters
While Apple has requirements on what not to include (such as directly mirroring the ATT prompt style or including the word “Allow”), developers have a lot of freedom in what their prompt could say.
Providing context to the user on why they are receiving the prompt can offer a better user experience, but positioning that context can vary.
We’ve seen publishers give the following reasons to justify the purposes of the prompt:
- Advertising and analytics
- Determine user identity
- Third party logins
- Show relevant or personalized ads
- Allow the game to remain free
- Optimize content and game experience
“Advertising and analytics" and "Determine user identity” received the highest opt-in rates at approximately 27%, with “Optimizing the content and game experience” receiving the lowest at 16%.
It’s important to remember that Apple has advised against any attempt to manipulate, trick, or force people to consent to unnecessary data access, so users should not be incentivized to opt-in or you risk app rejection from the App Store.
Variations to the ATT pre-prompt (context screen)
From our research, there are 4 ways that developers can approach their users’ privacy experience.
- Have just the ATT prompt itself, with no pre-prompt
- Have an iOS system-styled pre-prompt
- Have a pre-prompt screen that is branded to be thematic with the game’s content
- Have a multi-step pre-prompt experience, with multiple screens for the user to step through before reaching the required ATT prompt
1. Implementations preform differently
Aligning with our original findings, branding a pre-prompt to the look and feel of the game offers higher opt-in rates than not branding.
However, as the chart below indicates, having no pre-prompt had the highest opt-in rates, followed closely by pre-prompts that are branded to match the game’s style / theme. Far behind that are iOS system-styled pre-prompts, and then games that used multiple pre-prompts came in last.
It’s important to note here that the distribution for opt-in % is right-skewed, meaning that there are a lot more games who have lower opt-in rates, which moves the 50th percentile numbers down. It is very possible to have great opt-in rates with well-designed pre-prompt flows.
2. Pre-prompts matter sometimes, but not always
Early data indicated that a pre-prompt (context or appeal screen) may increase user opt-in rates. However, more recent findings suggest that the decision is a bit more nuanced.
In aggregate, not having any pre-prompt generated a higher opt-in rate. However, when we drilled down to categories, a clearer pattern emerged. In casual games, it was actually beneficial to include a pre-prompt.
In contrast, hyper-casual games saw a sharp increase in opt-in rates when only using the ATT prompt without any pre-prompt. In our sample set, all hyper-casual games either used no pre-prompt or a branded one.
What’s important to note here is that overall, hyper-casual games had higher opt-in rates. This might also be due to the players of these games being more biased to allowing tracking. We examined several hyper-casual games in the dataset who had no pre-prompts and compared them to casual games without pre-prompts, and there was no clear user experience rationale for the opt in % to be nearly double.
3. Asking for too many permissions before the ATT prompt can decrease opt-in rates
While it may be necessary to ask for certain permissions during gameplay (GDPR, ATT, etc), discerning between necessary versus unnecessary prompts could be key to better opt-in rates and an overall better user experience.
We found that games that included system permission prompts (notifications, media files, camera use) before the ATT prompt had a lower opt-in rate versus games that decided to ask for ATT first before system permissions.
If you’re a hyper-casual game, a pre-prompt may decrease your opt-in rates, so stick to optimizing the number of lines and justification reason in your ATT prompt
If you’re a casual game, a pre-prompt may increase your opt-in rates, specifically a branded one that matches your game’s styling.
If you decide to include a pre-prompt, design it to the colors, fonts, and general style of your game.
When in doubt, test things out and see what works for you, this could include testing: lines of text in the ATT prompt (while adhering to Apple standards), having a prompt vs no prompt, the look and feel of your pre-prompt.
We’re still learning, it’s early and data is still being reviewed and shared. We’re in it together and will share more information if it becomes available.
Continue to check back at our iOS 14.5 Resource Center for more findings and best practices.