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What do the latest IOS 14 updates mean for online advertising

In recent years, data privacy has been at the forefront of digital discussions, pertaining to how data is sourced, surfaced and managed. The latest privacy push has come from tech giant Apple and their latest IOS 14 release, which includes new security and privacy updates. So, what does the iOS 14 update mean for online advertising?

What is the iOS 14 update?

The iOS 14 update has rolled out to Iphones worldwide, and this latest release has new security and privacy updates. One of the main updates is a privacy feature requiring all apps to ask for explicit permission from its users to track their data.

With this new update, Iphone users will receive a pop-up notification that reads: ‘allow ‘x’ to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?’, from which they can decide to ‘Allow’ or ‘Ask App Not To Track’.

The aim of this new Iphone feature, Apple says, is to add transparency to data collection, and to give people better visibility and control over who accesses their data. Naturally, this also affects how businesses are able to advertise online, influencing their reach and impact on customers.

How does iOS 14 affect Facebook ads?

Facebook has been very forward with their stance on this new update, attacking Apple’s decision and stating that it will negatively affect small businesses advertising on their platform. The expectation is that some, if not most, people will decide to opt-out of apps sharing their data. If a user opts out of tracking, there will be limitations to the types of data that advertisers can collect about their journey on mobile.

Below are some key changes to Facebook Ads following the update:

·      Conversions: advertisers will be limited to optimising and reporting only 8 conversion events per domain. When using custom conversions, Facebook is able to serve your ad to people who are most likely to complete the desired action on your website, in-turn increasing their conversion rate. In response to the change, advertisers should prioritise the 8 events that they want to see available for optimisation and reporting.

·      Ads reporting: data will be delayed for up to three days, meaning that it will impact advertisers’ ability to optimise campaigns and report data in real time.

·      Targeting: as users opt out of tracking after the iOS 14 update, the size of custom audiences will likely decrease. The changes will also decrease the ability to create personalised ads for your target audience.

·      Domain verification: to reduce the impact of any future disruptions on website campaigns, all advertisers should verify their domain. This is something that Facebook has recommended in response to the privacy updates, especially to control the 8 conversion events limit.

What are the long-term effects?

It will take some time before we can analyse and determine what the long-term effects of these updates will be on advertising. One thing we know for sure is that the digital landscape is ever-changing, and if you want to keep up with it, you need to stay informed and flexible.

Whilst Facebook remains the best ad platform for traction, businesses should also actively explore new traffic opportunities that suit their strategy. Going back to your marketing basics and exploring them further may help you formulate a new traffic plan.

In the meantime, our team at Digimedia Worx will be closely monitoring the changes and staying tuned to updates so as to adapt campaigns accordingly. If you have any questions about the advice in this article, you can always contact us.

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