The digital landscape is about to undergo a potentially seismic shift with regards to personal data sharing and how online advertisers get to use that information. The source of these changes? A clash between tech giants Apple, Facebook, and Google; the first two’s battle over data privacy and usage will be the focus of this article. Specifically, we’ll provide an overview of what led to this tension and how the new Apple iOS 14’s update will impact Facebook advertising and the wider digital ecosystem. Additionally, we’ll aim to contextualize these events in the broader evolution of digital advertising and the challenges and opportunities that come when big tech platforms release updates.
Apple iOS 14’s Updates & Their Impact on Facebook Ads
Like any great conflict, the current public battle between Apple and Facebook emerged over a period of time, dating back to June 2020. At the time, Apple announced that it would be implementing an opt-in pop-up for all mobile apps’ data tracking, but had not given a definitive timeline for implementation. This initial announcement led to an outpouring of criticism from digital advertising platforms with Facebook being among the most vocal as these proposed updates posed an existential threat to its business model. Facebook’s ad network’s success is dependent upon highly refined targeting capabilities stemming from data being shared from devices. On several occasions, the platform has voiced these concerns online and believes that a data tracking prompt will impact big and small businesses, alike, yet to varying extents.
Example of Apple’s new data tracking prompt pop-up
Fast-forward to early 2021, and Facebook’s pushback only intensified as Apple began rolling out a more definitive timeline for its iOS 14.5 release. Despite this tension, which you might think would deter Apple from continuing with its plans, both tech titans remain committed to their beliefs that they are the “real” advocate for digital freedoms. The roll-out of Apple’s data restrictions will continue, too.
What Facebook Advertisers Can Do Next
For individuals using the Facebook advertising platform, it’s not all doom and gloom. The company has outlined a number of ways that advertisers can minimize potential reporting issues associated with Apple iOS 14 updates rolling out the week of April 25th.
At Duckpin, we’ve been working diligently to prepare for this shift and know this is likely the beginning of a new chapter for digital marketing. We encourage anyone trying to manage their own Facebook ads and run a business, let our team help and be the ones to stay on top of these changes.
Here are some of the next steps we’ve been implementing and encourage other Facebook advertisers to take as soon as possible:
Business App To-Do’s:
Update to Facebook’s SDK for iOS 14 version 8.1 to help personalize ads delivered to iOS 14.5 users, and continue to receive app conversion events reporting. You can do this from Events Manager and will need to be an app admin to do so.
Business Website To-Do’s:
- Verify your domain via code injection or another one of the three available domain verification options
- Ensure that your ad campaigns’ goals are aligned with Facebook’s configured website events
- Monitor performance via a third-party analytics tool to see how the new Apple update is impacting your conversion data
- Consider redirecting ad budgets to alternative platforms or investments in other digital marketing activities, such as SEO or PR