There’s been a lot of talk in the digital space about Apple’s iOS 14 update, in particular how it relates to Facebook advertising and performance tracking. Here’s what you need to know.

What is the iOS 14 update?

In June 2020, Apple announced a set of new privacy features which will change the way advertising is tracked and reported. 

The iOS 14 update will require apps to ask users for permission to collect and share data using Apple’s device identifier for advertisers.

It will mean that users will see a pop up, similar to those prompts you see regarding cookie tracking on websites, will appear asking them if they want to opt in or out.

This new iOS 14 policy will prohibit certain data collection and sharing unless people opt into tracking on iOS 14 via this prompt.

What is Apple’s device Identifier for Advertisers?

The Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) is a random device identifier assigned by Apple to a user’s device, which advertisers use to track data so they can deliver customized advertising.

This data can then be used to discover information, such as when users interact with a mobile advertising campaign.

How will the iOS 14 update affect Facebook advertisers?

The iOS 14 update will impact the way in which Facebook is able to receive and process information from tools like the Facebook pixel, which helps advertisers track conversions.

Before the update, IDFAs were available for the majority of users; with iOS 14, we expect to see very few users choose to opt-in so advertisers will have access to a fraction of those IDFAs previously available to them. This will impact businesses’ ability to market themselves and make money through advertising.

When will iOS 14 be introduced?

The update has been delayed a number of times but Apple has said it will be mandatory for all apps by early spring, so imminently. 

What must advertisers do?

The industry is still waiting for guidance from Apple as to how it will need to adapt to meet the requirements of these new features, however there are a few proactive steps Facebook advertisers should take now. 

Facebook has introduced a new domain verification feature, which requires any website that has advertising directed to it to go through Facebook’s ownership verification checks. Facebook’s Domain Verification is a very simple process, however, it does require a piece of verification code to be added to a website.

Facebook argues that personalized ads and user privacy can coexist and the new iOS 14 update will have a harmful effect particularly on small businesses. While the platform will show Apple’s prompt, Facebook has said it will share its own pop-up that will provide more information about how personalised ads are used. 

If you accept the prompts for Facebook and Instagram, the ads you see on those apps won’t change, however it does not mean Facebook is collecting new data. If you decline, you will still see ads, but they will be less relevant to you.

If you’re concerned about how the iOS 14 update might affect your digital advertising, the highly experienced team at Air Social will be happy to provide support. Contact a member of the team today.

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