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Zack Propst

What iOS 14.5 is and How it Will Affect Facebook Ads

The Apple update that Facebook has been dreading will soon be in the pockets of millions of Americans sometime next week. iOS 14.5 will come with new features along with an adjustment to Apple’s privacy policy, which will require applications and advertisers like Facebook to follow Apple’s new App Transparency Tracking Guidelines.

What is App Transparency Tracking?

App transparency tracking is a new set of rules requiring apps that use IDFA for ad targeting to request user data before collecting it. Basically, right after a user downloads the update and goes into an app like Facebook, they will be asked to consent to share their data with the platform. It’s important to note that this set of rules only applies to applications that use IDFA to personalize ads. IDFA, or Identifier for Advertisers, is Apple’s unique software ID on every iOS device that advertisers like Google and Facebook have been using for years to personalize ads.

In preparation for this update, Google actually started using SKAdNetwork instead of IDFA for its personalization. Since SKAdNetwork isn’t as robust as IDFA and has time limits on how long it tracks users, it’s not targeted by the ATT. Google’s ads will continue uninterrupted.

How iOS 14.5 Will Affect Advertisers

At face value, this is concerning news for anyone who uses Facebook and Instagram to deliver ads. In the past, Facebook users had to go into their settings and turn off data sharing in order to stop their information from being shared. This was something only 25% of iPhone users ever did. With the new update, however, users will have to consciously consider allowing their data to be tracked by advertisers. Although some polls suggest only 20-40% of users won’t consent, according to Hootsuite, 47% of Facebook users don’t trust the platform to protect their data and privacy.

Given these stats, it’s safe to assume advertisers will slowly stop getting updated data from users once this update is rolled out, and Facebook and Instagram ads will see a slow but significant drop in reach. How much, specifically? That’s yet to be determined.

The End of Facebook Advertising?

Not by a longshot. As mentioned before, Google has already moved over to SKAdNetwork to exempt themselves from the ATT rules and Facebook already has plans in place to do the same. When this is implemented, Facebook ads will still have similar reporting and reach as they do now, but the data won’t be as accurate as it was when using IDFA.  If you are concerned that this will impact your business, however, it’s worth considering how much money you put into Facebook ads in the future.

How to Prepare for the Update:

First off, don’t panic. Facebook ads aren’t going anywhere. The data they provide might not be as in depth and in real-time as before, but it will still be much more accurate than throwing up a billboard on a highway.

Additionally, although Facebook might seem like the center of the world when it comes to digital marketing, it’s only a small piece of the overall pie. Google and their robust advertising suite will be unaffected by the upcoming update, and their PPC and Display Network ad services will continue without interruption after this update is rolled out.

If you do have concerns about the constant changes to online advertising, selling and advertising on Amazon worthwhile move you can take. Since all of their advertising functions are tracked and executed natively, they will never come under the crosshairs of phone updates. (And Amazon has much higher conversion rates than both Google and Facebook!)

If you have any questions or concerns about how your online advertising is going to be affected by iOS 14.5 we’d be happy to help. Contact us Here!