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Facebook for iOS: How iOS 14 Impacts Advertisers
Apr 06

Facebook for iOS: How iOS 14 Impacts Advertisers

As part of its iOS 14 update, Apple announced that it would be including new privacy options for iPhone users. This will change how information is tracked through applications, including Facebook for iOS.

While there are more specifics to be ironed out closer to the update’s release, here are the big ways iOS 14 will impact advertisers.

IDFA Changes

Every Apple device has an IDFA or identifier for advertising. In a nutshell, it’s a unique ID assigned to each device. Anytime that device visits a website, downloads an app, or clicks on an ad, that IDFA shows up, making it easy to target where a device has been and how to target ads for that user.

With iOS 14, that ID won’t go away, but applications will no longer have access to it unless the user allows it. It’s worth noting that, by default, applications won’t have access to user data on Apple devices. To get people to opt in, your business will need to build trust prior to them downloading any respective applications. This is why reputation management will be key during this time. Here are more reasons why your company needs reputation management.

AACHEN, GERMANY - 05. January 2021 : Apple iPhone facebook app request permission from users to track their activity across other apps and websites for personalized

Facebook Changes

Facebook for iOS will likely see some of the largest repercussions from iOS 14. Facebook won’t be able to track specific user behavior. It will still be able to report things like region, demographics, and more. However, more in-depth data will be unavailable unless users choose to report it.

This will make it more challenging for advertisers to use targeting and retargeting ads specifically. Many campaigns like that hinge on tracking things like where a user clicks, their interest, and more.

Audience Network

In 2014, Facebook introduced Audience Network. Other app developers could take part in it, giving them access to Facebook’s ad system within their own apps. As a result, targeted ads could appear in other apps outside of Facebook using the same data. In short, the same ads people would see on Facebook could then appear in other applications that were part of the Audience Network.

That will change in Facebook for iOS, though. Without the foundational data that Facebook uses to fuel its Audience Network, this avenue will lose much of its effectiveness with the launch of iOS 14. While it will still work for Android users, Apple holds a 65% smartphone market share in the United States. Not every device will receive the update, but products as far back as the iPhone 6S will be eligible.

Facebook already expects a revenue decline for the Audience Network with the launch of the new update, telling developers that a 50% hit would be likely. It remains to be seen how and if Facebook will continue this program after iOS 14.

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How Advertisers Can Prepare

There is no launch date for iOS 14, but it’s suspected to arrive within the next few months. Here are a few ways that advertisers can prepare for it

  • Utilize first-party information gathering methods. Many websites offer a freebie for users who subscribe to an email list. If you motivate a user to give you their information, that gives you a straight path for advertising. If you run an e-commerce site, when people use the checkout, they give you their information there as well. If you can interest customers in your goods or services, they’ll likely be more accepting and trusting of you.
  • Test campaigns without iOS users. Lots of ad platforms can already filter out targeting by whether someone is using an Android or Apple device. By testing out campaigns with those in place now, you can anticipate how much your advertising efforts will be affected when iOS 14 launches.
  • Get on board with SKadNetwork. While Apple is updating its users’ privacy, there will still be ways to track how users interact with your ad campaigns. Apple’s SKadNetwork doesn’t let any personal information through, but it can still track things like app installs, conversions, clicks, spend, and more. Learn more about the SKadNetwork here and how to use it for your own marketing efforts.
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