Pixels, Privacy, and Problems: Facebook Ads Take a Hit in iOS 14.5 Release

The iOS 14.5 release has put users in more control of their data, allowing them to opt-out of in-app data collection.

As opt-outs increase on iOS devices, the disruption of ad personalization and performance reporting could become notable.

Internet privacy has become a significant topic of discussion over the last few years, especially for major players like Facebook and Google. One of Apple’s most considerable privacy changes in years has arrived in a software update, iOS 14.5. The latest update to iOS is a move from Apple to put users in control of how their data is used and sold. Moving forward, iOS 14.5 will require all apps listed on the App Store to show an ​App Tracking Transparency​ (​ATT)​ prompt, requesting that users opt-in or out from allowing an app to collect and share their data or track their usage. 

For those who accept the prompt, there will be little change. Where things start to get complicated for advertisers is when people opt-out. As more people opt out of tracking on iOS 14.5 devices, personalization of ads and performance reporting will be limited. Facebook is currently at the front of the conversation as it’s likely to be most impacted by the update. 

Although this new iOS release has already been up and running for a couple of months and different privacy functionalities activated so far, the full ATT feature only rolled out in late April 2021. Facebook will still serve iOS users ads whether they opt out of tracking or not. But for those opting out, ads might not be as relevant to their interests. Advertisers will have a hard time reaching ideal targets in the opted-out iOS segment. However, these updates will not affect target audiences from desktop, web, and other operating systems.

Facebook retargeting will also take a hit when it comes to the new iOS update. Previously, if someone clicked on an ad, the Facebook Pixel was able to identify that user as well as the actions they took. And through that event, advertisers were able to retarget or create a custom audience of people with similar behaviors or interests. Now, these audiences will no longer include iOS users that have opted out.

Where it stands, advertisers have a lot of uncertainty when it comes to underreporting and reaching a specific segment. So, what can we do to get ahead? We recommend heading over to the official recommendations from the Facebook Business Help Center for a list of actions you can take to prepare.

Contact one of our account executives to learn more.


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