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Social Media Marketing

Is the iOS 14 privacy update the next Online Marketing Apocalypse?

In September last year, Apple announced that App Tracking on iOS 14 will become an opt-in feature.

In short, App tracking will be deactivated by default, which gives users greater privacy. Therefore, Facebook has revealed they will be limited in the data they can collect from Apple users.

So what does the iOS 14 privacy update mean for us marketers?

As more people are opted out of tracking if using iOS 14, ad personalisation and conversion tracking will be limited on Facebook Ads. Which kind of sucks. 

In response to Apple’s iOS 14 update, Facebook recently launched ‘Aggregated Event Measurement’, a protocol that allows for the measurement of web events from iOS 14 users. This new tracking feature allows for the use of eight conversion events per domain. Aggregated Event Measurement will help advertisers to optimise campaigns, while limiting the ability to track every single action a visitor takes on a website, because ‘privacy’.

Many B2B businesses use only a few Facebook conversion events for reporting and therefore can probably keep advertising on Facebook without too much interruption. For e-commerce businesses, which traditionally use various events to track buyer behaviour across their online stores, this customer tracking limitation may result in a performance drop, and you’ll need to take action.

Sounds serious, what do I do?

To activate Aggregated Event Measurement, you will need to set up a Facebook Business account and verify your domain. Facebook will then select the most relevant conversion events for Aggregated Event Measurement by default. Alternatively, you can choose the most relevant events manually within the Facebook event manager. 

The Facebook Audience Network is one of several ad placement options on Facebook, delivering Facebook ads to users outside of Facebook across different apps and it is highly reliant on tracking user behaviour. Facebook has previously released data showing a significant revenue drop caused by the iOS 14 update for advertisers using the Facebook Audience Network strategy. 

While this certainly sounds like bad news it shouldn’t really affect advertisers who don’t user the Audience Network placement as part of their Facebook advertising strategy.

Do I even have any iOS 14 users?

Within the reporting dashboard Facebook allows you to view the estimated share of iOS users in your past campaigns, which may help you to better understand the contribution of iOS users to your bottom line. 

We would suggest to go through the domain verification process, which should prompt Facebook to activate the Aggregated Event Measurement functionality. Verifying your domain within the Facebook Business account should allow FB to continue collecting some data from iOS 14 devices for better campaign optimisation. 

It seems the iOS 14 Apocalypse might be averted by Facebook – Yet online marketers, who have been tracking users on the internet for over a decade, feel the move towards user privacy will not stop at iOS 14 and will expand to other devices, browsers and platforms. Google’s announcement to scrap cookies in Chrome, for instance, is one more thing giving online marketers sleepless nights…