iOS14 & The Data Privacy War: How the Apple vs FB feud affects you.

Matt Jackson 10 March, 2021

Now more than ever, consumers are conscious of the digital footprints they are leaving around the web. We’re all becoming increasingly aware of protecting our online privacy and the security of our sensitive information. Many have also become concerned about the data collected by the websites they visit.

Apple – a company known for being at the forefront of user experience innovation – has seemingly been paying close attention to this growing trend. Their latest mobile operating system update, the now infamous iOS14, works to actively give their customers more control of their privacy. By providing more transparency regarding who and what is tracking their data, Apple is aiming to ensure all users are informed and in control of the information collected about them online.

If you’re a user who has become concerned with how your data is collected, this is great! If you’re a business utilising online advertising, this could mean a huge hit to the profitability and results of your digital tactics.

What is iOS 14? And why is Facebook so mad?

Apple’s iOS 14 was released in September 2020, and becomes mandatory in March 2021. The update features a number of the usual ‘look and feel’ type changes that are typical to an operating system update, but also implements a drastic security and privacy policy change which has been labelled Apple’s “Tracking Transparency Framework”. Essentially, this will cause a prompt to appear when using third-party apps asking users to allow or deny the app to track their data both while using the app and offline. Apple estimates over 50% of iOS customers will opt-in to this notification.

So why are Facebook so mad? Well, for a platform that has built its advertising offering based on hyper-personalised targeting leading to strong performance, they are understandably concerned that users being in control of their privacy settings will make it difficult for them to continue to deliver.

Privacy vs Personalisation: What can you expect to see.

Facebook is advising iOS users that those who opt-in to the new policy will experience a less streamlined feed and may now receive content that is not relevant to them.

From an advertisers perspective, this will likely lead to less conversions as your content is shown to a broader audience. Due to Apple not allowing Facebook to store, track and share a user’s data for advertisers to utilise there will be less people who can be targeted using Facebook’s interest and in market options.

What can I do?

For those of us who are wanting to continue taking advantage of Facebook Ads, all is not lost! Facebook have helpfully released new algorithm and conversion tracking changes that will endeavour to overcome some of the challenges caused by iOS14.

We’ve pulled the need to know from their article so you can get started:

  • Domain Verification – This will become essential once iOS14 is mandatory for all domains with active pixels and will ensure that you have minimal disruption.
  • Aggregated Event Management – A new tool that can be found in Events Manager designed to measure campaign performance in a way that’s consistent with a users decisions about data collection. Facebook are limiting the number of conversion events to eight and will prioritise which conversions are most important to your marketing objectives. Ad sets that were optimising for a pixel conversion event that is no longer available will be turned off.
  • Attribution Windows – Facebook is changing its default attribution window and phasing out others. 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through and 7-day view-through attribution windows will no longer be available. Ad sets will now be automatically built with the default 7-day click-through, 1-day view-through attribution. Consider how this will impact your reporting if you are comparing different attribution windows.

We’re here to help!

If you are currently running Facebook Ads and have are concerned that this update will affect you, get in touch! We are happy to review your Facebook account, make suggestions and help you run campaigns!

Want to learn more about recent updates? Check our article about the latest Google Ad changes you should know about.

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