What the iOS 14 update means for your marketing strategy

clock 11 months ago

Read this article to find out about the iOS 14 update and whats app tracking transparency really means for your marketing plan.

iOS 14 is the latest operating system for Apple devices. With each operating system update, substantial efforts have been made to improve privacy protections for Apple users. Most recently, app tracking transparency will be enforced with the latest update, iOS 14.5. App tracking transparency means that developers must receive express permission from the user before tracking them through apps.

Across the iOS 14 operating system, Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) will change from ‘opt-out’ to ‘opt-in’. In previous versions of iOS, users could only deactivate the IDFA manually, by navigating to their device’s settings. Now, users will receive a prompt from app developers requesting express permission for tracking.

If a user opts out of the data tracking experience, advertisements will not be removed. Instead, the advertisements that the user sees will not be as relevant to them. The user may opt back in at any time, and a prompt may be delivered to the user from the app informing them how tracking can improve their user experience.

Read on to find out more about who will be impacted by the app tracking transparency updates in iOS 14, and how to adapt your marketing strategy.


App and SDK advertisers use Facebook ads to drive app installs and in-app conversions. Facebook software development kits (SDKs) enable a developer to pass app event data from their app to Facebook.

They can then use this app event data to accurately track and measure the actions people take in their app. If a user opts out of tracking, SDK advertisers will collect minimised app event data to measure their conversions.


The iOS 14 update will impact publishers who use the Facebook Audience Network to monetise current inventory on apps and websites. Facebook says that publishers using FAN should expect ad revenue to decline:

“For developers and publishers using Audience Network, our ability to deliver targeted ads on iOS 14 will be limited. As a result, some iOS 14 users may not see any ads from Audience Network, while others may still see ads from us, but they’ll be less relevant.

Because of advertisers’ reduced ability to accurately target and measure their campaigns, app developers and publishers should expect lower CPMs on Audience Network and likely other ad networks on iOS.”


Pixel-reliant advertisers use Facebook ads to drive e-commerce or other on-site actions. Fewer pixels being tracked will provide limited audience and on-site data which could lead to higher cost conversions and/or less reliable targeting.

Before the iOS 14 update, unlimited pixels could be placed on a website. In addition, unlimited standard events and up to 40 custom conversions could be measured using these pixels. After the iOS 14 update, only one pixel per verified domain may be placed, with a limit of 8 events being traceable. With potentially fewer Pixel Related Events being tracked, assets like custom audiences would also decrease in numbers and effectiveness.


The app tracking transparency update impacts the tracking of data and conversion events. Data tracking allows companies like Facebook and marketers to use the platform to build a better picture of their users.

Since tracking data can help with re-marketing, audience building, conversion adverts, users opting out will severely limit what Facebook can do from a marketing standpoint. For example, before the iOS 14 update, Facebook tracked users for a 28 day period, regardless of whether they had opted in or out of tracking. This has now been reduced to a 7 day period, which affects lead generation campaigns and e-commerce campaigns.


While the iOS update may seem challenging at first glance, it’s not the end of the world for Facebook ads. More importantly, it’s certainly not the end of the world for your marketing strategy. There are a number of measures you can take to future proof your marketing strategy in the wake of the iOS 14 update.

You will need to verify your website’s domain if you are running conversion-based campaigns where events occur on your website. You can find this feature within the ‘brand safety’ section of your Facebook Business Manager. Not verifying your domain could result in ads with conversion-based outcomes being stopped by Facebook, disrupting any live campaigns.

Conversion events per pixel will now be limited to eight. So, it is important that you customize these events to suit your campaign needs. You can find this section in the ‘Data Sources’ area of your Facebook Business Manager account. Prioritize those pixel events, starting with ‘bottom-of-the-funnel’ events, and work your way backward.

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