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How Apple’s iOS 14.5 update affects Facebook Ads?

Updated: Apr 28, 2021


A couple of years ago Apple signalled that it would introduce a new advertising API (known as SKAdNetwork) for the primary purpose of improving privacy settings for Apple iPhone and iPad users who install and use mobile apps. This change is now being rolled out within the iOS 14.5 update as of the end of April 2021.

This change will have quite a big impact on the way Facebook Ads work on Apple devices with iOS 14.5 or higher. In New Zealand, more than 40% of mobile users on average are on Apple devices which is a large portion of the mobile market. The update will only be available to iPhone 6S and higher, and it will likely take a couple of months for users to update in numbers.

How does this impact Apple iOS 14.5 users?

iOS 14.5 includes an “app tracking transparency” setting, which requires apps to ask for users’ consent before they are able to track their activity across other apps and websites. Apple users on iOS 14.5 will get an opt-in prompt on each app allowing them to choose whether they consent to third-party sites like Facebook to track their user data.

This means iPhone users on iSO14.5 can prevent advertisers tracking them across their apps. Facebook uses the tracking data to improve the relevancy of ads and how they are targeted to users. For users that choose to opt out, they will not see fewer ads but will see ads that will likely be much less relevant to them.

How does this impact Facebook and Instagram advertisers?

The change means that as more people opt out of tracking on iOS 14.5 devices, both the personalisation of ad targeting and the reporting of Facebook ad conversion metrics will be impacted. Website custom audiences will likely decrease in size and this will also impact Remarketing campaigns. These changes also apply to Instagram.

Facebook advertisers should be aware of the following:

  • You will need to verify your domain to be able to track conversions on your website
  • There will be a limit of 8 events to track and optimise your conversions
  • Reporting will change to all 7-day post click and 1-day post view attributions
  • There will be up to a 3-day delay on data reporting for data that comes from iOS 14.5 users

Will also impact some Google Ads

Also for a small number of Google apps, Google won’t be sending the Google click identifier (GCLID) for iOS 14 traffic coming from ads. Consequently, there may be a decrease in reported website conversions.

We will keep this article updated as the rollout progresses. If you need assistance with your Facebook advertising, please contact us.

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