YouTube is set to begin asking iOS users if they want to opt into more personalized advertising. This development comes as a response to Apple’s iOS 14.5 update, which mandates app developers to explicitly inform users about tracking and obtain their consent.

Starting soon, iPhone and iPad users will see a one-time prompt in the YouTube app asking, “Allow ‘YouTube’ to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?” This prompt offers two choices:

  • Allow: Enabling this will link your YouTube activity with activities on non-Google apps and websites, allowing for more personalized ads and better ad measurement. This choice will apply to all users of the YouTube app on the device where the setting is turned on.
  • Ask App Not to Track: Declining this option means that your YouTube activity will not be linked with activities on non-Google apps and websites. This will result in a less personalized ads experience, with potentially less relevant and more repeated ads.

YouTube emphasizes that opting into tracking will enhance the quality and relevance of the ads users see. This personalization is achieved by linking in-app YouTube activity with that from third-party apps and websites. A YouTube spokesperson explained:

“Starting soon, YouTube users on iPhone and iPad devices can choose to opt into more personalized advertising, in line with Apple’s App Tracking Transparency policy. We’re confident that this will help us provide a high-quality, helpful ads experience for users, while also benefiting creators. YouTube users that choose to opt-in can turn this off at any time.”

For those who select “Ask App Not to Track,” YouTube will continue to offer a less personalized ad experience based solely on first-party Google data, avoiding the ATT prompt altogether. This choice will still provide ads, but they may be less relevant and more repetitive.

The introduction of this prompt will not affect YouTube Premium subscribers or users with child accounts, who are exempt from seeing it. Users who change their minds about their tracking preferences can do so by navigating to iOS Settings > Privacy & Security > Tracking.

This new setting pertains only to the YouTube app’s interactions with third-party apps and websites. It does not impact Google’s broader ad personalization settings, which users can manage through their Google account preferences.

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