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What's the impact of the iOS 14.5 Update on Advertisers and Marketers?

July 13, 2021
Apple has been continuously introducing new features to improve user privacy and give users more control by reducing the data collection of Ad Networks

Here are some insights from our partner Blue Land

Apple announced that their new iOS 14.5 update will begin requiring apps in the app store to show a prompt on iOS devices after app install specifically asking iOS users with a pop-up if they’d like opt-in to allowing apps to track their activities. Users need to click-through the prompt to enable tracking. This change is part of what Apple calls their App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework. The default behavior is that users will not be tracked. In the absence of aggressive messaging, it is assumed the majority of users will be impacted by this change. The update was released midday on Monday, April 26th.

Here is a screenshot of the prompt

Apple also introduced an updated version of SKAdNetwork. This is a mobile app attribution sdk and framework that app developers can use to ensure that they are taking a privacy safe approach.

These are critical changes for Facebook Ad campaigns and they weaken the algorithms that are typically used for Ad tracking. Millions of small businesses are impacted because they rely on Facebook Ad targeting to reach their niche audiences.

What happens when the user opts-in?

Apple will give the app access to the IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers). This is a unique identifier for a mobile device. Advertisers can use the IDFA for ad targeting and metrics on the effectiveness of digital advertising and digital marketing on a user level across mobile devices that are running the Apple Operating system.

Why is Apple making this change?

Apple has been continuously introducing new features to improve user privacy and give users more control by reducing the data collection of Ad Networks.

Facebook’s Response

In response Facebook created some new functionality and repurposed some existing tools to comply with the ATT framework from Apple's iOS. The major changes for advertisers that use Facebook Ads were:

What Actually Happened:

Release Timelines and Theories:

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen and heard from other advertisers that there’s been an increase in conversion rate volatility. Likely at least partially attributable to the majority of iPhone users updating to iOS14.5+.

What can you do?

While the immediate negative impact is being felt by most social media advertisers and mobile app developers, there are still opportunities out there for those who stay ahead of the game. We recommend adapting to the changes as soon as possible. Given how the industry is evolving, these types of changes will likely to come to Android, Google Ads and Amazon Advertising soon as well when those platforms try to match Apple's move.

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