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Glossary of Mobile Advertising Terms

IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers)

What is an IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers)

IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) is Apple’s device identifier which is used to deliver targeted advertising by tracking user data. Since it’s used to track and identify a user, advertisers use that data to discover information that helps them with targeted advertising.

How is an IDFA used?

For example, information like triggered in-app events or when a user takes action because of an ad (i.e. installs an app). While it does provide device identifications, end users do have an option of limiting the information that advertisers access. It’s also worth noting that IDFA does not provide any personal information. That being said, IDFA plays an important part for advertisers when targeting iOS users as it offers a precise way to track a mobile advertising campaign.

IDFA is basically a random serial number that’s assigned to each iOS device. Depending on the user’s activity, IDFA is sent to the advertising server, and after that, the relevant ads are displayed.

Lately, the problem for advertisers is that the users are opting out of IDFA, particularly with the option called “limit ad tracking”. This option basically stops targeted advertising since when enabled, all the user information is shown blank. However, not everybody uses this option so IDFA is still an important part of advertiser’s arsenal when tackling iOS devices.