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Most mobile operating system updates come with a few exciting new features that get users talking, but the latest iOS update — 14.5 — comes with a feature that’s also got advertisers and e-commerce brands breaking a sweat.
iOS 14.5 lets users opt out of tracking that allows apps to track their behavior and share the data with third parties. While this gives iPhone users more control over their data, it gives advertisers reduced tracking capabilities and reduced personalization.
The social network says the update will severely impact businesses. It says it’s conducted internal testing and has seen a 50% drop in “the revenue generated by its Audience Network advertising platform when it removed the ability to offer up these highly targeted, personalized ads,” according to The Motley Fool.
But it’s not sitting back quietly. Facebook has included a pop-up message to iOS 14.5 users explaining the benefits of allowing it to track them. It even created a website for small business owners to share their stories and tell others they #deservetobefound.
You’re likely to experience targeting and measurement challenges if you use the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). Since the update has been released, only about 5% of iPhone users have opted in to be tracked.
“Specifically, the updates are expected to create significant gaps in marketers’ ability to measure the degree to which their ad campaigns are actually working. Measuring attribution, or the specific instance responsible for converting a consumer, is especially complicated without user opt-in,” reports The Drum.
Facebook can track user activity on its site and through other apps via pixels. The information you get from pixels can give you an idea of whether your campaign is working and allows you to retarget users. Before the iOS update, you could place as many pixels as you want on your site for as many campaigns as you like. However, with the update, you’re only able to place eight pixel objectives on a single domain. As you can probably imagine, this change will reduce the amount of data you’ll be able to collect, report on and use in campaigns, which could make your ads less effective and your ad spend more costly.
Specifically, here are the changes you’ll experience if you’re using Facebook:
So what can you do now that iPhone users can opt out of being tracked?
The tracking restrictions only apply to iPhone users, which means Android users are still able to be tracked. You can segment campaigns by device when you’re setting them up on Facebook.
While tracking some users on Facebook may be limited, your site is still fair game. Use the tracking capabilities on your website and your website’s analytics to learn more about your website visitors’ behavior and better target them.
If you haven’t updated your SDK for iOS version 8.1 or higher, or if you’re advertising on apps that require a Facebook login, you’ll need to set the SDK for version 9 or higher. According to Facebook, this update will let you:
Take a look at your organic social media strategy and boost your efforts there. They will help better establish your brand and connect with your followers and audiences.
What moves people to take action is a seamless experience. You want to delight the customer, and the way to do that is to focus on your audience, message and customer journeys.
Verifying your domain on Facebook ensures there are no interruptions in your ability to configure conversion events. Once you do that, as noted above, prepare to use only eight conversion events.
While the iOS 14.5 updates can affect the success of your advertising, keeping the above points in mind can ensure your ads remain in front of the right audience.