The world of online marketing is always changing. Most changes are relatively small, but every once in a while, something happens to get everyone talking. Over the past year, that big development has been some of the privacy features in Apple’s iOS 14 update.
More specifically, the conversation is about some of the conflict between Facebook and Apple as it concerns the ways this update will impact advertising. If you work with any type of digital marketing agency, be it an Instagram agency or a Facebook advertising company, you have probably heard about this issue.
The Issue at Hand
Most of this conflict stems from changes to the way privacy will work on devices that operate on iOS 14. Before the update, an app could track and collect data across other apps and websites. Under this new policy, any app that wants to collect user data outside its own platform will have to show a prompt that asks users to opt-in.
You can see why Facebook would take issue with this change. Many of their most effective advertising features rely on user data from outside the platform. Facebook is so concerned that they might even remove certain advertising features for phones that run on iOS 14.
This isn’t to say that privacy is not a big issue. Apple is responding to the concerns of users. According to a survey from DataGrail, over 82% of people have concerns about the ways businesses collect data from phones and other devices.
On the other hand, you have to recognize the issue with an industry giant exercising its vast power to shape a market. One issue is that this might be a move to encourage businesses to move away from ad-supported revenue models in favor of subscriptions and in-app purchases. This would benefit Apple because they get a cut of the profits when users pay for things in the app.
Whether it is a legitimate privacy issue or not, this is going to have a significant impact on Facebook advertising. While it is still early on in the update, we can already see some of the ways that change Facebook advertising.
The Facebook Pixel
The Facebook pixel is a tool that is useful for tracking user data on your website. When a user clicks on a Facebook ad that directs them to your website, the pixel allows you to do things like track the conversion. As more iOS 14 users decide to opt-out, this is going to obscure some of the data.
Since you won’t have the data concerning users who visited your website, some of the targeting options will be less effective. This could include website custom audiences based on different activities and it will also have an impact on lookalike audiences. If you are targeting audiences from your website or app, you might notice a difference in the quality of targeting or the size of the audience.
Facebook advertisers rely on this data to optimize campaigns. If a lot of people choose to opt-out, there will be less data, and this could have an impact on your ability to optimize ads based on the ways users respond.
App Install Ads
App install ads will be another area that sees some change as a result of this update. If you are running a campaign to get app installs, you may need to make separate campaigns to target iOS 14 devices. Otherwise, you will get incomplete data concerning metrics like conversions.
If you rely on Facebook advertising, the effects of the iOS update are something you need to pay attention to. With that said, the digital marketing industry has seen big changes in the past. It might take some time to adapt but people will find ways to work within the new framework.