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How Will iOS 14 Affect Facebook Ads?

Posted On: 2nd February 2021
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Read Time: 3 Minutes
iOS 14 and Google Ads

Update 26/04/2021 – Apple have now rolled out their iOS 14 privacy options meaning they’re in full swing. Here at Echo we’ll be keeping a close eye on whether this has a noticeable impact on social media advertising for online businesses. If there are any noteworthy changes you can be sure that we’ll publish our findings in a future blog.

With the potential to negatively impact targeted Facebook advertising campaigns, we’re looking at how Apple’s new iOS 14 privacy options could affect your business’s social media advertising strategies and how to adapt going forwards – without panicking!

Apple, the company behind the MacBook and iPhone, have been causing quite a stir after their latest system update, known as the iOS 14, has started to come into effect from early 2021.

The new Apple update means that Facebook users using iPhones or apps that run on iOS will need to explicitly opt-IN (not opt-OUT) to provide tracking permissions. This is a stark contrast to the usual opt-out style notifications we’re used to. With privacy becoming an increasingly hot topic each year – just look at Netflix’s 2020 documentary The Social Dilemma – it’s not surprising that a large majority of consumers are welcoming the change.

“Specifically, Apple will begin to require that all apps in the App Store show a discouraging prompt to users on iOS 14 devices, in accordance with their App Tracking Transparency framework. Apple’s policy will prohibit certain data collection and sharing unless people opt in to tracking on iOS 14 devices via the prompt. As more people opt out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, ads personalisation and performance reporting will be limited for both app and web conversion events.”

– Facebook

What is tracking and why is it important?

If a user grants permission, certain data is tracked about their online shopping behaviour and stored in analytics. If a user doesn’t opt to be tracked then their data will not be collected. Information such as location, time of day, and the pages visited on your website are all things that can be tracked.

Tracking is important because it helps businesses to understand consumer behaviour and adjust their marketing strategy to create more opportunities to increase revenue.

What will the new update mean for your business?

There will be a number of ways that the iOS update will affect your Facebook advertising campaigns:

  • Limited ability to retarget users who have already interacted with your website
  • Limited ability to ensure ads are shown to the most relevant audience to your business
  • Limited ability to create meaningful reports on your consumers as you won’t have the full picture of your audience demographic or shopping behaviours

Ads will still run, but advertisers and marketers will need to be aware that the way the campaign collects and uses data will be limited. These changes will mostly affect app downloads and conversion focussed ads, as these track and collect user’s data.

Who will this impact the most?

There is a huge concern for small businesses, who rely on targeted advertising through platforms like Facebook to grow their business. Often, smaller businesses don’t have the budget to incorporate a multi-channel marketing approach, or the budget to adopt a broader audience when competing with larger businesses.

If their targeting becomes less effective, this may create a low return on investment which wouldn’t be cost-effective. And this won’t just affect Facebook – Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google and Bing advertising platforms will also have to display the new Apple notification.

According to Dan Levy, vice president for Facebook product ads, if businesses are unable to personalise ads by using their own data this could cut over 60% of website sales from ads. However, the good news is that the iOS 14 changes shouldn’t spell an end to personalised ads altogether, it just means marketers and business owners will need to adapt and take on the challenge!

How are we responding?

At Echo, we’re adapting quickly and making sense of the new privacy changes to help other businesses continue to thrive rather than flounder.

While we can’t change the decisions being made at Apple HQ, we can closely monitor your current campaigns and adjust them to follow the new best practises.

That’s what digital marketing is all about – always being ready for changes and challenges on the digital landscape. If you are concerned about the impacts the new iOS 14 update may be having on your Facebook campaigns, you can always speak to us for advice.

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Emma Gibbs Bio Image
Emma Gibbs
SEO Content Writer
Writing is something that Emma has always loved, and enjoys using her passion for the written word to help businesses create easy to understand content that drives results.

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