Get ready for iOS 14

By DeepSync Labs

It’s highly likely that by now you’ve heard more about the upcoming iOS 14 changes and its potential impact on Facebook’s advertiser. In Facebook’s own words:

Prepare For Upcoming Changes to Apple’s iOS 14


Apple has announced changes that will adversely affect the way our ad systems work, and may impact your ability to reach people with personalized ads. In early 2021, we expect Apple to require all apps in the App Store to implement their AppTrackingTransparency framework. This will affect the ability of apps to receive conversion data from iOS users.


Apple's AppTrackingTransparency framework will limit the information that can be exchanged with third parties like Facebook, which may significantly impact ad creation, ad personalization and performance reporting. This disruption will affect advertisers using pixel, Conversions API, or any other Facebook Business Tools that optimize, target or report on events from a web domain.

To recap the main change is that users will be able to learn more about how an app plans to use their data. This will link all the way through to the Privacy Policy. So far…..OK? Well things get more interesting and potentially impactful when we start to talk about permissions - in an iOS14 world apps will be required to get permission from users to track them or access their device’s advertising identifier. Again - this might not seem like a huge deal if permission is softly baked into accessing the content - in the same way we see websites in the EU now ask that you ‘Accept Cookies’ in order to read the content. BUT - this won’t be buried. In fact users will need to explicitly opt-IN (not opt-OUT) to provide these permissions.

Opt-in models are notoriously hard to scale and differ vastly from more standard web based opt-out (this is what we plan to do, if you have an issue you can remove your permission in settings) protocols. And the thing most at risk for the majority of Facebook advertisers will be their ability to target campaigns AT SCALE based on known proven strategies. Targeting audiences based on the pages they’ve visited, the quality of their engagement and even if someone has converted or not becomes way harder.

For anyone advertising on Facebook we recommend starting to plan for an iOS impact around the middle of the year. That’s when more devices will start to go live with the new operating system and the first effects will be felt. One way our clients are starting to plan for this event is to bring in more 3rd party data to supplement targeting options. Adding more options now will give clients time to test and start to prepare for a world where several of today’s winning strategies might not exist in the future.