What is PCM (Private Click Measurement) and what does it mean for mobile marketing?

Apple’s PCM framework was originally developed by the WebKit team as an alternative to the cookie-based measurement blocked by ITP (Intelligent Tracking Prevention). It was pitched as a standard for web-to-web attribution, but iOS 14.5 extends this to support app-to-web attribution.

This new functionality is useful primarily to large publisher apps (for example, Facebook) that show in-app ads leading to web conversion. In the past, these campaigns would typically have been measured via URL parameters, but Apple appears to consider this a violation of the AppTrackingTransparency policy.

In iOS 14.5, Apple introduced PCM support for app-to-web campaigns. In-app support for PCM gives these publishers a policy-compliant way to attribute app-to-web campaigns, without requiring users to opt in via the AppTrackingTransparency prompt first. However, for a typical mobile marketer focused on app acquisition, this new app-to-web attribution functionality is largely irrelevant.

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