Customize/Zoomd: Despite iOS privacy updates, Meta still leads user acquisition channels

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Despite Apple’s privacy updates over the past year, Meta is still one of the top user acquisition channels, according to a report by mobile experts Adjust and Zoom Technologies.

The report also found that user acquisition (UA) budgets — the advertising that game and mobile app companies run to find paying users — are increasing. He also found that video and display advertising are dominant and marketers also rely on influencers for user acquisition.


The 2022 State of User Acquisition study showed how dominant Meta’s platforms are for user acquisition managers. That’s the case despite Meta stocks falling in early 2022 on disappointing Facebook user growth in Q4 and lower-than-expected Q1 2022 earnings. Meta largely attributed the slowdown to Apple’s iOS 14.5 privacy changes and app tracking transparency framework. , and said it would cost the company $10 billion in lost revenue in 2022.

Despite fears over user acquisition, mobile games accounted for $93 billion in revenue in 2021, more than half of the entire $180 billion gaming business, according to market researcher New Zoo.

Despite these headwinds, results from a joint survey by mobile user acquisition platform Zoomd and mobile marketing analytics platform Adjust show that user acquisition (UA) leaders around the world are still allocating their budgets to Facebook and output Instagram.

Specifically, when global leaders in user acquisition were asked:

  • What was your top media source for 2021 – Facebook was #1 followed by Google.
  • Which of the following mobile media sources have you used? Only Google (#1) was ahead of Facebook (#2) then Instagram (#3).
  • Which media source performed best on your Christmas campaigns in Q4 2021 – only Google (#1) beat Facebook (#2).
  • Which media source benefited most from budget changes made after the Apple ATT (iOS 14.5) privacy changes – Facebook and Google ranked first.

Conducted during the first quarter, this survey surveyed global mobile acquisition managers who work with Zoomd and Adjust, a division of AppLovin. The results represent responses from user acquisition managers working across a range of industries including e-commerce, gaming, entertainment, fintech, health and fitness, lifestyle and public services.

User acquisition on the rise

During the holidays, Google established itself as a mobile multimedia source.

Of the UA managers surveyed, 72% said their budget would increase in 2022. Specifically for iOS, 60% of respondents said they would increase their UA budgets for Apple’s mobile devices.

But it’s not necessarily out of love for Apple. To stay with iOS, “difficulty finding lifetime value (LTV) with limited SKAN information” (33%) and “lack of time to research and understand iOS changes and best practices” (25%) were the two Top Challenges for Maximizing iOS Campaign Insights .

When asked how they rate the success of their iOS campaigns, 40% of UA managers surveyed said they use “a single data type model focused on purchase, ad revenue, or engagement,” while 21% said they “Use custom resume templates for follow-up”. multiple types of income or events simultaneously” or “using probabilistic matching data”.

Probabilistic refers to the likelihood of a particular outcome based on past data patterns and patterns. For example, the likelihood that hardcore gamers will be interested in a particular game genre based on historical game data.

DSPs, ad networks and affiliates, and Apple Search Ads

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TikTok user acquisition views

Despite the growth that TikTok and Snapchat are experiencing in terms of media budgets, demand-side platforms (DSPs), ad networks, and partners, Apple Search Ads has them and every other platform not owned by Meta, or Google in most categories exceeded.

A demand-side platform (DSP) is software that enables advertisers and agencies to automatically bid and buy advertising on multiple exchanges through a single interface. An ad network aggregates online advertising from a number of publishers and acts as an intermediary between the availability of a publisher’s ads and the needs/demands of advertisers. And an affiliate network connects interested publishers by serving ads that sell products or services where the publisher earns a commission on the sale when a sale occurs.

Specifically, when UA Mobile Managers were asked “What was your top mobile media source for user acquisition in 2021” and “Which media source benefited the most from your budget changes following the Apple ATT privacy changes”, only Google and Facebook beat DSPs, Ad – and affiliate networks and Apple Search Ads. When UA execs were asked, “In the last holiday/holiday campaigns in Q4 (2021), which mobile media source did you perform best?” only TikTok beats advertising and affiliate networks (but not DSPs and Apple Search Ads ). This result is consistent with the 184% revenue growth that eMarketer just predicted for TikTok in the United States in 2022.

TikTok, Snapchat at the top among the other platforms

Next to Google, Facebook and Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat achieved the best results. When mobile acquisition managers were asked what media sources they were using in 2021, 41% said they were using TikTok or Snapchat, ahead of Twitter (26%), Reddit (13%) and Pinterest (7%), but fewer than those using Google (77%), Facebook (72%) and Instagram (67%). When asked about the performance of holiday/Christmas campaigns in Q4 2021, TikTok ranked 6th behind Google, Facebook and a three-way tie between Instagram, Apple Search Ads and Affiliate Networks.

“With privacy-related changes coming in 2021, it’s important to understand their impact on mobile marketing by surveying user acquisition staff on a daily basis,” said Ozan Can Sisman, managing director for the MENA region at Adjust, in a statement. “The number of surprising results, including the growth of CTV, and the strength of DSPs, as well as advertising and affiliate networks, underscore the importance of qualitative research alongside the quantitative analysis and insights Adjust provides to our clients and the industry.”

Omri Argaman, director of growth at Zoomd, said in an email to GamesBeat that Google has increased its budget over the past year, but not just because of its ability to target ads to users.

“Android is also growing because iOS is getting more expensive,” Argaman said. “But now that Google is copying the privacy changes Apple implemented, I expect some budgets will go to iOS. And in the battle for user acquisition between Meta and Google, Google has been less affected than Facebook and Instagram.

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