The Newest iOS Update and Facebook

The Newest iOS Update and Facebook

You have probably heard rumblings about the iOS 14.5 update impacting businesses on Facebook and Instagram.  Apple’s latest software update is their most recent attempt to come through on their promise of offering tools that help enhance users’ privacy.  While some may see this new privacy update as a positive change, it is likely to have very negative impacts on businesses’ Facebook efforts.  Here’s the lowdown on what the update actually is, what it means for consumers, and what it means for businesses. 

What Changes Are Included in the Update? 

As with any software update, iOS 14.5 offers many standard tweaks and updates, like a few new emojis, bug fixes, and new capabilities for the Apple Watch. By far the most noteworthy change in this update though, is the change in privacy policy.  With their new update, Apple will now require all apps in their App Store to ask users whether they consent to having their activity tracked across apps and websites. Activity will no longer automatically be tracked; users will have to explicitly say yes for this tracking to continue. 

What Is The Intended Impact For Consumers? 

In recent months and years, Apple has claimed to have doubled down on their efforts to protect user data and privacy.  This is the latest of those efforts.  They are calling this most recent change the App Tracking Transparency Framework.  It gives users more control over when and where their data is being tracked, and increases transparency in apps’ data collection processes.  Essentially, this update is meant to make users feel like they are choosing whether to share information with the apps and websites they are visiting, and taking back control over their privacy.

What Is The Actual Impact For Businesses? 

While Apple has touted these updates as an important improvement and step forward in privacy efforts, the bigger actual impact they are having is in harming businesses’ advertising efforts.  Businesses devote huge amounts of money and resources into advertising efforts on channels like Facebook and Instagram.  Many of these efforts are based on tracking events outside of Facebook, and linking them to current Facebook users.  This is how businesses can target customers who have visited their website, made a purchase, or otherwise interacted with their brand in some way. 

The new iOS update, thus, has far-reaching impacts on Facebook advertising.  Brands will no longer be able to target the right audience as effectively, or accurately track events and conversions that occur based on their ads.  

So as a business at this point, you may wonder what to do about it.  The unfortunate answer is, there is not much to be done at this point.  It will be up to individual users to decide whether they would like their activity tracked.  These decisions will ultimately determine how accurate your brand’s ad reporting data will end up being, and thus how helpful it will be for your business in informing decisions. 

Even though there is not much to be done, it is essential that your business is aware of and understands these recent software changes.  They can at least provide some context as to why your ad performance may have changed drastically in recent weeks, and probably not in a good way.  Stay tuned because next week on the blog, we’ll be talking more about what actions Facebook has taken in response to these updates.

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