January 28

How Apple’s iOS 14 Tracking Update Will Impact Businesses Advertising on Facebook


The iOS tracking update, slated for early 2021, is going to have a massive impact on the world of advertising.

The iOS 14 update requires all apps to explicitly ask for permission to gather data and track users across mobile apps and websites. This includes Facebook’s app, and it impacts Facebook ads conversion attribution, (re)targeting audiences, and more.

Here’s a recent Tweet from Apple’s CEO, explaining their reasons for doing this and how things are going to work when the iOS 14 update is rolled out:

That actually sounds innocuous, and even positive. But if you are a business that relies on Facebook Ads to increase your bottom line, then this “harmless” tracking prompt is a concerning thing.

Not only the “Ask App not to Track” is the first option presented to users, but in current times it is probably safe to say that the prevalent sentiment towards tracking people’s online behaviour is a negative one. Especially after documentaries like the “The Great Hack” and “The Network Dilemma” came out.

So, we dare say that the “Ask App not to Track” will be the preferred setting for the majority of users.
And the result: Targeting options and information will become more limited on Facebook (and likely other platforms).

If you work inside of a Facebook Ad Account, running your own ads, you probably already have seen the following warning:

Though at this stage things aren’t crystal clear, we have managed to gather some of the most important information to help you keep a finger on the pulse of these changes and also prepare ahead of time.

How it’s going to work:

  • Once someone installs the FB app, all net new installs on iOS14 will have a prompt talking about tracking and asking to opt in/out;
  • For those that upgrade to iOS14, this will be asked on all apps likely as well, once they upgrade;

The biggest impacts for most DR advertisers are:

Facebook says, “Once Apple requires the prompt and it’s shown on Facebook and Instagram, advertisers running campaigns that optimize, target or report on web events from any of our advertising tools will be impacted by limitations on data sharing.”

This statement translates to, more specifically:

  • Delayed reporting (up to 3 days) & based on the time that the conversion occurs (vs when impression occurs);
  • No support for age/gender/platform reporting breakdowns;
  • Only 8 conversion events per domain for the optimization of Facebook campaigns;
  • Attribution is 7-day click vs 28-day click, 1-day view;
  • Smaller retargeting pools.

What marketers/businesses should do to prepare for iOS14 and its impact on Facebook ads

  1. 1
    Verify your domain - https://developers.facebook.com/docs/sharing/domain-verification
  2. 2
    Install Facebook’s Conversions API (CAPI) - Link

More to come as things unfold in the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for more email updates!


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