Facebook advertisers could be in for a rocky future with the new changes about to come out with Apple’s iOS 14 requirements for app advertisers.
For those who have not yet heard, Apple iOS 14 will require mobile apps to get permission to track consumers across apps and websites owned by other companies. This appears by default prior to downloading any app.
Now, I’m all for transparency and allowing consumers to know when and how they are being tracked. I think this change is a great step forward for consumers first, but do not think it will affect digital advertising as much as expected.
Here are my five predictions for what to expect after this iOS update.
1. Consumer data will decrease
Whenever I’m asked if I want to opt-out of something, I always choose “yes.” I imagine there will be a lot of others who will prefer some sense of privacy in their lives. If this happens, expect a lot of data from mobile apps and from sites like Facebook or Instagram to decrease if consumer tracking is limited.
2. Lookalikes will remain essential
A decrease in data is only one source of data for Facebook and Google. There are a variety of other methods used to help identify users and track behavior online. While the iOS update will reduce some data points, it does not reduce all of them. Platforms like Google and Facebook have thousands of data points that help predict actions and behaviors. Losing some data will be bad, but it’s not something that will end their advertising dominance.
3. Not everyone will opt-out
Even though all consumers are given the option to opt-out, I don’t think everyone will. Consumer tracking actually provides advertising that is more relevant to the consumer. Most people forget that the ads they see are highly targeted towards them — they just assume everyone else on the internet is seeing the same ads. If you want to test this out, click the clear data feature on Google or Facebook and watch as the ads that appear become extremely random and have nothing to do with your interests.
4. The update will only affect new app downloads
This update should only affect when consumers download new apps. This means if apps like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are already downloaded, consumers will not be prompted to opt-out of data tracking. Thus, the majority of consumers will never see that option, ensuring that the ad platforms continue to collect data. It’s only when an app is downloaded that the message to opt-out of tracking will appear.
5. There is a workaround
Facebook has been working on a server-side tracking solution that can help track deep-funnel actions that happen off the marketer’s website. Things like sign up, phone calls, or conversions can be tracked using this method which still provides a full picture and data on consumers that can be used for advertising. These types of solutions allow the ad platforms to continually track users’ actions outside of the iOS update.
Apple’s iOS 14 update at first can sound alarming, but it’s certainly not debilitating, and you can count on Facebook to create changes that will make advertising a better experience for marketers.