Cookies on Mobile 101
Understanding The Limitations Of Cookie-Based Tracking For Mobile Advertising


Mobile advertising is essential for brands and advertisers to reach the millions of users who use smartphones and tablets in their everyday lives. However, there is a lot of confusion around using cookies to track and optimize mobile campaigns, especially in comparison in the desktop environment. Cookies on Mobile 101 details the limitations of using cookies in different mobile environments and the impact this has on common advertiser requests. While there is a need for campaign optimization and tracking on mobile devices, the common cookie method introduces limitations that ad buyers need to understand.

This document was developed by the Mobile Ad Operations Working Group, part of the IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, and written for advertisers, agencies, and marketers who are familiar with common practices in digital advertising on desktop browsers—specifically cookie tracking and optimization—but who need a better understanding of how these work on smartphones and tablets. While there is a need for campaign optimization and tracking on mobile devices, the common cookie method introduces limitations that ad buyers need to understand.

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