Apple iOS 14 Update and the Impact It Has on Agencies and Advertisers

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Alaine Hansen
by Alaine Hansen
Senior Social Media Specialist

Every year, advertisers are forced to pivot and adjust the way they work with social media platforms due to the ever-changing tools and technology. This is especially true of Facebook and Instagram.

Apple’s iOS 14 update, specifically the anticipated v14.5, presents the most challenging change to paid social advertising to-date – since as of February 2021, 86% of iPhones and 84% of iPads introduced in the last four years have been updated to iOS 14.

iOS 14.5 is expected to be released to the public this spring (the public beta version is available now), and it’s poised impact paid and organic Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns by introducing App Tracking Transparency (ATT). This update will:

  1. Make users aware of what an app will track before iOS users install it
  2. Give permission to opt-in or opt-out of tracking upon install
A tweet from Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook
Recent tweet from Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, about the App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14

This latest change means that iOS users are explicitly made aware of how giving permissions to Facebook will allow them to keep track of their data, and many are anticipating that users will opt-out. Users will have transparency because app developers will be required to disclose the data that will be tracked, e.g. contact info, location, or sales info, and how it may be used.

An iphone showing privacy notice
App privacy example

If a user opts out of tracking, they’ll still see just as many ads, but they may find fewer that are actually relevant. Facebook will be using this communication of “ad relevancy” to encourage users to opt into data collection.

This will immediately impact the targeting and reporting for Facebook and Instagram as campaigns have long relied on associated features, e.g. Ads Manager, Ads Reporting, Ads Insights API for much of their functionality. Here’s how: 

  • Certain windows will only have partial reporting.
  • 28-Day attribution (click and view) will no longer be supported; however, the system will still support the 7-day click attribution but not the 7-day view-through.
  • For both app and web conversions, delivery and action breakdowns, including age, gender, region, and placement will not be supported.
  • Reach and impressions will also decrease because of the smaller universe. 
  • Aggregated event measurement will go into effect with an 8 Conversion Limit; advertisers will be limited to 8 conversion events tracked per domain. Conversion events include lead, subscribe, and view content.
  • A Pixel that is currently assigned to its ad account will now be tied to a verified domain. This does not impact a campaign that is driving traffic to a third-party site. 

These changes will further complicate the implementation of paid social campaigns, making it more difficult for advertisers to set up targeting and optimize. Fuseideas has been preparing for the changes and adjusting plans accordingly. As the rollout continues, we’ll be evaluating the impact on individual campaigns. We anticipate, and are already accounting for some inevitable impact, and are ensuring “best practices” are in place:

  1. Verify the client’s domain with Facebook and add the agency as a partner
    • Domain verification lets you manage editing permissions over your links and content and prevent misuse of the domain.
    • This will allow the client to provide Fuseideas and other advertisers access to their website, an essential step once the iOS 14 update is in effect.
  2. Work with Fuseideas’ team to identify the client’s top 8 events for tracking within FBM
    • A priority ranking is required because FBM’s system will report back on the highest priority event a user completes.
    • Fuseideas will monitor metrics and make any recommended changes to priorities with a 3-day pause for Facebook updates.

While this setup process is a bit more complex than it was before the iOS changes, at Fuseideas we can help make it easy. These new updates will change the way we plan and implement social campaigns as they significantly impact the information that is available for targeting. We still recognize the huge value Facebook and Instagram bring to a campaign, and are diligently working with our strategy and media teams to minimize impact on our clients. Get the full rundown from Facebook on what this means for brands and users. When you’re ready to talk, we’re here to help!

Fuse Friendly reminder: Apple’s latest update only impacts iOS14 users. The adoption rate of the opt-outs is not yet known. Fuseideas team will continue to follow the network’s updates on new information as it becomes available.

Check out this audio clip to hear what our CEO had to say about the iOS 14.5 update on the Money Matters radio show.