iOS 14 Update and its Impact on Facebook

We’re expecting big things to come from apple who are changing the way that data tracking is permitted with the release of the new iOS 14 update.

The issue with this? This could have a significant effect on companies who use platforms like Facebook for advertising, publishing or app developing. In its purest form, advertising on Facebook will be a lot less effective.

In a hassle to sustain the ability to advertise for millions of businesses that use the platform, Facebook has implemented a new tool that will (hopefully) hit live servers soon enough. But what does this all mean for businesses that are involved with Facebook?

For now, all we know is there is a lot of uncertainty about the new update. So, for today, let’s have a look into Apple’s iOS 14 update and the impact that it will have on digital marketing agencies.

iOS 14 Update

The update introduces a change to Apple’s operating system which centres around privacy and data usage. Users will now have the power to see how each of their different applications (social media and other internet-based sites) use and manipulate their personal data.

Developers of these apps are now required to give the user details of their privacy policies, how the app collects their data and in what purpose they intend to use it.

The change, on its own, is a positive change for users and is definitely a feature that should’ve been implemented a lot sooner.

Upon this update being released, apps will have to ask for permission from the user to track them and/or gain access to their device’s advertising identifier. For this permission to be granted, users will have to opt-in in contrast to the opt-out system that apps like Facebook currently use.

Facebooks response

Facebook has taken an offensive approach to the iOS 14 update stating that there worries about how the release of this update will negatively impact newer and weaker businesses.

Dan Levy, VP of Ads and Business Products, has “foreseen” the changes as impactful in ways such as:

  • Businesses turning to subscription-based servicing
  • Ads that aren’t as efficient and less effective
  • “Drop-in” personalisation which could succumb to a 50% drop in revenue
  • Businesses not able to reach their goal demographic due to reduced exposure

A summarisation

Many businesses will now have to operate under a heavily restricted data program. To help this cause, Facebook is adding “Aggregated Event Measurement”, this feature was created to make the best of Apple’s unilateral changes. Rather than having to pinpoint users, it uses standard tracking to determine the performance of ads.

How will it impact your business?

Whether or not users are opting in or out, business should expect to see large differences in the performance of their ads and such because of these changes in the attribution window. An attribution window is the amount of time for when an action is being attributed to a user having an ad on their screen or them clicking on it.

When put an ad up on Facebook and choose your attribution window, Facebook gives the ads to users that are likely to make a purchase from clicking or viewing in the chosen amount of time. Whereas the original attribution window used to be based around a “28-day click” it is now centred around, and reporting based on a “7-day click-through” and only a “1-day view-through” windows.

Because of data now being restricted from users opting out, Facebook might not be able to target people that are most likely to make a purchase because of an ad in that timeframe as efficiently as before. What this means for Facebook is that their ability to give ads to the right people is reduced harshly, this has a large impact on the results and reporting of the advertiser.

Expect and prepare yourself for changes in strategy

The release for Apple’s iOS update and Facebooks new feature is still a work in progress, neither Facebook or Apple have the resolutions to our questions about how the release of these major updates is going to be. All we know is that it has been made apparent that there is going to be significant changes in the coming weeks and months, and businesses must start preparing themselves for this appropriately.

Get yourself ready for major decreases in the performance of your ads, products, click-throughs etc. This will be because of the limited amount of data that you now have access too. Try out some new strategies that are based around the new digital database and find the best tools for your business.


The attention and effect surrounding the release of the iOS 14 update has been accepted as unavoidable, the effect if could possibly have on businesses using Facebook as an advertisement platform could be devastating.

A lot of speculation is still clouded, and we don’t actually know what impact this update could have on businesses.

One thing is for sure, we will experience a fine example of cause and effect.

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Haithem Bayati
Haithem Bayati

Haithem is a work experience student currently working his week at Digital Marketing Adelaide in hopes of getting the experience he needs to continue studying marketing in university!

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