ITP (Intelligent Tracking Prevention) is a feature that was first introduced by Apple in 2017 in the Safari browser. The feature was designed to protect users’ privacy by limiting the ability of third-party websites to track users via cookies. ITP uses machine learning algorithms to classify cookies and trackers, giving first-party cookies full access to the browser while limiting the lifespan of third-party cookies to 24 hours.
As the privacy concern is rising and the regulations are getting stricter, other browser developers like Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, etc started to implement similar tracking prevention features in their browsers.
ITP has been widely praised by privacy advocates for its effectiveness in protecting users’ privacy, but it has also caused challenges for businesses that rely on tracking and targeted advertising.
Guide to Cookie Tracking & ITP
Cookies are small text files that are stored on a user’s computer by a website. They are used to track user behaviour and preferences. ITP is a feature built into the Safari browser that limits the ability of third-party websites to track users via cookies.
- Know the limitations of ITP: ITP limits the lifespan of first-party cookies to 7 days and third-party cookies to 24 hours, making it difficult for affiliate marketers to track users over a longer period of time.
- Use alternative tracking methods: Instead of relying solely on cookies, affiliate marketers can use alternative tracking methods such as server-side tracking, fingerprinting, or using link redirects with unique identifiers.
- Implement a consent management solution: A consent management solution allows users to opt-in or opt-out of cookie tracking, which can help affiliate marketers comply with privacy regulations such as GDPR.
- Continuously monitor and adjust: Continuously monitor the effectiveness of your tracking methods and adjust your strategy as needed to ensure that you are still able to effectively track users and deliver relevant affiliate offers.
- Keep an eye on updates: Keep an eye on updates to ITP and other browser-based tracking prevention features, as well as developments in privacy regulations, to ensure that your affiliate marketing strategy remains compliant and effective.
- Optimise for mobile: Optimise your tracking methods for mobile devices, as mobile browsers are increasingly implementing ITP-like features.
Note: Keep in mind that with ITP and other tracking prevention features becoming more prevalent, affiliate marketers will need to find new ways to track users and deliver relevant offers.
How does ITP affect affiliates?
ITP (Intelligent Tracking Prevention) can affect affiliates in several ways:
- Limited tracking ability: ITP limits the lifespan of third-party cookies to 24 hours, making it difficult for affiliates to track users over a longer period of time. This can make it more challenging for affiliates to deliver relevant offers to users and attribute conversions to their marketing efforts.
- Reduced audience targeting: With the reduced tracking ability, affiliates may not be able to target their audience as effectively as before. This may lead to lower conversion rates, which can have a significant impact on their revenue.
- Difficulty in attribution: ITP can make it difficult for affiliates to attribute conversions to their marketing efforts, which can make it harder to determine the effectiveness of their campaigns and optimise them.
- Impact on cross-site tracking: ITP also limits the ability of third-party websites to track users across multiple sites, which can make it more challenging for affiliates to track users across different websites or platforms.
- Impact on remarketing: ITP can also make it more difficult for affiliates to remarket to users who have previously interacted with their website.