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How iOS 14 affects Facebook Ads & What to Do About It

How iOS 14 affects Facebook Ads & What to Do About It

It’s a fact, Apple’s iOS 14 privacy-focused changes will affect business and Digital Marketers ability to target customers as effectively as they do today.

Put simply, It will exclude users who opt-out of tracking by default on their phones from being tracked and marketed using the tools businesses rely on today. Knowing how to respond should be one of the most important current and ongoing tasks for businesses and marketers who rely on digital channels including Facebook.  Whether you consider the worldwide impacts and now legal action as a result of the European Union’s GDPR or this latest move by Apple, the privacy trend is clear and business should take note.


Online privacy is a hot topic all over the world and the conversation is starting to come into action with major market players Apple moving to protect user privacy on iOS 14 and OSX Bug Sur.  This change is a trend that we predicted would occur as the online marketing environment matures.  As rising concern over online privacy and the social influence of online platforms is more broadly understood by the world’s population.  The days of the wild west of advertising and detailed targeting may not be over, but with Apple moving to protect people’s privacy by default the war has certainly started.

What to do

Firstly, you need to understand the problem.  The tracking changes on iOS14 will affect your ability to target users on phones using this operating system (which is a lot of your market).  To combat the problem you can adopt some strategies such as:

  1. Setting expectations with your client and internal stakeholders on the impacts of these changes
  2. Measuring changes in your campaign performance to assess any impact already occurring
  3. Changing your campaign strategy to take less qualified users on iOS14 and push them through your funnel to a more qualified stage where you can identify them successfully
  4. Changing your campaign structure to treat iOS14 users differently
  5. Ensuring you manually pass data that identifies these users to your analytics platforms via URL parameters

Implementing the strategies above will require an in-depth understanding of advertising platforms, analytics and some technical aspects of them.  Ask your team or current agency how they can help you respond to this situation.

If you want to dig further into developing solutions to the issue the best place to start is by reading Facebook’s page on “how Apple’s ios 14 release may affect your ads”. It’s also helpful to understand how Apple is implementing these features too which you can find here on their Apple developer guidelines on user privacy 

Facebook has also published the following guidelines for developers that may be useful for preparing partners iOS 14 mobile web advertising

Last Remarks

The news isn’t all bad.

Digital marketers have been facing major change to their industry and tools as long as the industry has existed.  Having the skills and alliances with people who understand the changing landscape of user privacy is going to grow in importance over time.  Analytics skills have always been important for people working in digital marketing. These recent changes highlight the growing portion of a digital marketer’s role is understanding the evolving field of analytics.

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