Mobile ad tech business Verve Group launched an in-app targeting product for Apple devices that uses on-device data to aggregate cohorts of users rather than targeting individuals.
The product, dubbed ATOM (Anonymous Targeting on Mobile), collects data from the device and the app when it’s in use, but strips out the identifiers.
For instance, Verve’s SDK can pull information about the time of day, the device type and operating system, whether the device is in dark mode and even accelerometer data that shows if the person is moving. There’s also contextual data on the specific app. If it’s a gaming app, is the player winning or losing? If it’s a news app, what is the user reading?
These data points don’t identify an individual but can probabilistically organise users into segments or cohorts that are useful to advertisers, such as groups made up primarily of men or women or people in certain age ranges, said Ionut Ciobotaru, Verve Group’s chief product officer.
During the testing phase, ATOM cohorts consisted of between 50 and 200 users, Ciobotaru said. As publisher adoption picks up, the plan is to have cohorts with thousands of users.
There is a margin of error for ATOM segment, though. A cohort for “women,” says, maybe just three-fourths women.
And that’s because someone who regularly opens the Sephora app or has a period tracker on their phone is likely a woman, but it’s not possible to say that with 100 per cent certainty.