Social Media Marketing

How Apple’s iOS 14 Release May Affect Facebook Ads and Reporting


Apple prides itself as a privacy-centric company. With that focus in mind, Apple has recently announced some fundamental changes to their privacy settings for the iOS14 update. Most notably in the location-tracking, data-collection, and aggregation sector. The company intends to continue its privacy onslaught that started with the previous iteration of its operating system, iOS13.

As expected, companies that rely on personalized advertisements for monetization aren’t happy with these changes. Such a company is Facebook, being one of (if not) the most successful players in the ADS market. Facebook has made their unhappiness clear with the AD campaign they launched ahead of Apple’s feature launch.

This blog explains how Facebook Collects data and how the iOS14update changes affect their AD business.

How Facebook ADS Function~

More precisely, this is about how Facebook collects data for their AD business. To put it simply, Facebook tracks everything that you do on their social media platforms, in turn using that data to provide relevant and personalized advertisements to you.

Not just that, it can also track off-facebook activities. Facebook also recently released a tool named “Off-Facebook Activity” to help users control their data after backlashes concerning user privacy. That shows that Facebook not only tracks users on its platform but off from it too.

That facility helps create a giant database for facebook to use for its ad service. But it does not end there. Using the mobile applications, Facebook also can track your Location (if permitted to).  In fact, where you are at any given time is one of the primary means of targeting advertisements to you.  Facebook can create a personal profile of each user with their location data, combined with other information it has to show them relevant advertisements on shops, restaurants, events, and such.

iOS14 changes and its effect~

With the iOS14 update release, Apple has introduced some significant changes to its app-store layout and permissions system. The layout changes are mostly about showing users the amount of data an application asks for on its store page.  This framework intends to give users more control over how much the apps they use can track them.

Some examples of tracking that they presented are:

  • Display of Targeted Advertisements in an app based on collected user data from apps and websites owned by other companies.
  • Sharing of Device Location and Email Lists with a data broker.
  • Sharing of Advertising IDs and emails with a third-party advertising network.
  • Implementing a third-party Software Development Kit (SDK) in the app and combining user data from your app with user data from other developers’ apps to target advisements or perform analytics on the advertisements.

Using these examples, Apple intends to explain the changes made in the OS release. Using the AppTracking Transparency framework, developers will have to ask users for their permission to track their activities and use their unique Advertisement IDs. The developers are instructed to include a string of text that explains why the application might need the user data that it is asking.

That implementation limits the number of users that an application can track as users have the freedom to opt-out entirely from any tracking and placement of personalized advertisements on their devices.

Facebook’s Response~

Aside from expressing grievances through AD campaigns and press releases, Facebook has taken steps to inform its clients about the potential changes they may have to make in their campaigns to continue running their advertisements and reporting on the platform.

Some of the needful actions involved are as follows:

  • Businesses will need to update to Facebook’s SDK for iOS14 to version 8.1 in order to be able to deliver personalized advertisements to iOS14 users and continue receiving app conversion events reporting.
  • Businesses will need to verify their website’s domain to avoid any future disruptions of the website’s campaigns.
  • Businesses are instructed to configure eight preferred web conversion events per domain using the “Events Manager” section.

Further on, Facebook mentions some restrictions in the process of delivering optimized ads for conversion events in business applications. Below mentioned are some of them:

  • A business can only associate its app with a single ad account. However, it can use the same account to advertise for multiple applications.
  • Each app is limited to about 9 iOS14 campaigns at once and each campaign is limited to five ad sets of the same optimization type.
  • The only buying option available is Auction when creating an AD for iOS14 devices. For which, reach and frequency are not available.
  • Once the campaign is published, a business cannot turn the campaign toggle for iOS14 on or off. They will have to completely turn off or delete their campaign.

Its effect on your business~

This update is likely to have a significant impact on your business. A lack of a personalized ad experience means a lack of reach and a low conversion rate.

It is still important to note that some users do prefer a personalized ad experience rather than being shown irrelevant advertisements on the platforms they browse. That means some users might voluntarily opt-in for tracking and personalized ad experience, while most users might appreciate apple’s position on letting them opt-out from the tracking.

Either way, with its market reach, the impact is going to be a significant one for both users and businesses alike. The question becomes about how other platforms will react to these changes, and how much support it will get from the users.

Related Post – How to Create the Best Social Media Ads?

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