iOS Update Effects on Your Advertising

UPDATED 26/04/2021 –  There has been a lot in the news recently about upcoming changes that Apple is making to their iOS platform in terms of an upcoming effect on Facebook ads.

What is the change?

In an upcoming iOS update (14.4, NOW 14.5), Apple is restricting the ability to track users across platforms. This includes the Facebook app on iOS devices unless the user gives their express permission.

What is the effect?

Apple’s proposed changes will limit your ability to effectively reach people via Facebook ads and understand their performance. In regard to iOS device users you are targeting, this will ultimately make it more difficult to make better decisions about the ads. Thus, overall, you may see worse results than reality based on the current configuration.

Can you be clearer?

Apple users on 14.4 or higher will be asked to opt-in to tracking cross-app events. So when a customer purchases a product after seeing an advert, we can see that purchase tracked on FB Ads Manager and analytic tools. You won’t be able to do this for IOS users for 14.4 or higher. Retargeting will be limited, and identifying new users via lookalike audiences will be lower in quality.

What will the user see on IOS?

Users on 14.4 will be shown this opt-in screen, something they will have not been shown before.


Apple iOS 14 Privacy Update & Facebook: What This Means For DTC eCommerce Brands

When will this change come into effect?

Apple is rolling out these changes now, but they are still in Beta. The IOS version is 14.4. It’s currently in testing, and it’s likely to have a large-scale rollout in Q1 2021. This could be today, tomorrow, or in a couple of months. (At the time of publishing, it is 19/01/2021.)

That’s what we have taken from it.

What can I do to protect my advertising?

Well, here’s the deal: Advertising changes. This is a big change to advertising on Facebook. Being able to micro-target people based on the behavior on a website is massive for a business owner using Facebook ads.

We need to adapt. I believe there is a strategy that will help to overcome this change and make your advertising bulletproof.

Focus on the customer journey within your own walls.

Connect with those who visit your website. Have them connect with you in a deeper way—on social, on Messenger, or by giving you their email address, phone number, and permission to notify on desktop.

By doing this—building your global list of contacts—you are able to reconnect with customers… and not just on your own terms, but for free! (Well, excluding the cost of a monthly subscription to an email marketing technology. But certainly for less than a retargeting fee on Facebook!)

Instead of relying on Facebook or Apple to work in your best interest, focus on how you can take control of your own data and customer relationships.


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PDG – Better Adverts, Better Targeting, Better Results.

A digital advertising agency in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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