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6 February 2023
#Mobile advertising


Device ID is a unique device code which is used in mobile advertising to identify the user. And this is one of the main advantages of mobile over desktop. While cookies are still the main source of data on desktop, they don’t matter on mobile. With the help of a guide from Publift, we are telling about Device ID.

What is Device ID and how does it work?

Device ID is a unique anonymous number that can be accessed by a mobile application. It is also used by developers to collect data, and advertisers need it to set up targeted advertising.

It works this way: the first time an app is opened, it sends a request to the device to access the Device ID. Having received permission, the application already refers to this code. The principle of operation of Device ID is approximately the same for both iOS and Android.

Types of Device ID

Generally, two types can be distinguished: IDFA for Apple devices and GAID that is being used by Android devices.

IDFA looks like a string of uppercase letters and numbers. An example from Publift is AB1234CD-E123-12FG-J123.

After the release of the iOS 14.5 update, the ID is only available if the user has opted in to be tracked. If refused, the data remains anonymous.

GAID consists of lowercase letters and numbers.

As for the restrictions for Android, everything is not so strict so far. Earlier there was information that from April 2022, the user can opt out of personalized advertising by disabling access to the identifier in the settings, then it would look like a string of zeros. Google recently announced the development of Privacy Sandbox solutions for Android, which are designed to improve user privacy and find ways that will be attractive to advertisers at the same time. But until these decisions are found and made, nothing critical should happen to the identifier and access (the official deadline is two years).

In general, Device ID is still an important element for personalized advertising, but with the tightening of privacy, the advertising world is looking for analogues.

For example, here are some of the alternatives Publift is mentioning:

Alternative ways

Contextual targeting

It allows you to target not user data, but the context of the application in which the ad should be shown. Conditionally, in the application for mothers, you can show ads for baby carriages.

User interests

Publift recalls that Google announced the development of the Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) model as part of its Privacy Sandbox initiative. The algorithms were supposed to create audience segments based on common interests. Today, it has formed the basis of the new Topics system, where user interests can be taken into account to personalize ads.

In this context, we would also mention the data of the first party.

First Party Data

First party data can be considered one of the most trusted sources of user information. And collecting that data is what advertisers should be focusing on.

In addition, one cannot ignore that Device ID is still available for advertising campaigns on Android, and a significant part of iOS users give permission for tracking. According to InMobi data from February 2022, globally 35% of users do not restrict access. And in Russia it is 34%.


In BYYD, we launch mobile app ads and successfully target 10+ metrics to ensure that only the right audience sees ads. Daily optimization during the advertising campaign, which is carried out by our managers also helps it. Implemented advertising campaigns demonstrate that this works. Send a mail to, we will tell you how to increase your company’s visibility through mobile advertising, or register on the platform yourself.

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