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The impact of iOS14.5 explained

Find out how Apple's new operating software, iOS 14, is changing the digital marketing game.

As of April, iOS14.5 has been shaking up the digital marketing landscape.

We wrote about the roll out of iOS14.5 before its roll out:

The biggest change causing a commotion in the digital marketing world is that the iOS 14 update will require all apps on their App Store to show an App Tracking Transparency prompt (ATT) (you can add this to the list of acronyms you’ll never remember).

It’s something that users can opt-in or opt-out from, and whilst having its benefits for users, it’s caused some significant changes to the way digital marketers track and record data.

The issue with this is Facebook’s ability to distribute data from iOS 14 users who opt-out becomes significantly limited.  

In response to Apple’s updates, Facebook is going to start processing pixel conversion events from iOS devices using Aggregated Event Measurement. This is in an attempt to assist advertisers in reaching their goals of preserving user privacy while also running effective campaigns.

The update requires apps to ask users for permission to collect and share data. Doesn’t seem like much but just like the first domino in the line, this is one small change, that’s leading to one big impact!

An example of the pop-up notification

So, what's the big deal?

Apple’s policy will result in certain data collection and sharing methods being restricted unless users choose to opt into tracking via the prompt. (Which seems unlikely.)  

As the number of people not electing to let an app track them increases, our ability to report on performance and our ad personalisation capability will decrease.

What's affected?

Facebook Pixel Events

Facebook will be limiting its pixel events to 8 per domain. As a result, advertisers will have a reduced understanding of the actions people take on their website. As more people opt-out of tracking, data received from pixel events such as purchases, add to carts and lead submissions won’t be recorded to the same level of detail.  

Notably, pixel events will still be sent to the Events Manager but only 8 can be used for optimisations. The events that aren't in the top 8 priority can still be used to create custom audiences in future campaigns.

Facebook will initially configure the conversion events they believe are the most relevant to your business based on your activity. All other events will be made inactive for campaign optimisation and reporting.

Subsequently, the following ad objectives will be affected;

●      App installs

●      Lead generation

●      Conversions

●      Catalog Sales


A result of the pixel modifications is that the audiences that are created based on pixel events and retargeting audiences may potentially reduce in size, as gradually less data will be recorded about them.

As more devices update to iOS 14, the size of your retargeting audiences may decrease.

What do these changes mean for advertisers?


This is the big one. Firstly, real-time reporting has been impacted as data may be delayed up to 3 days. Secondly, we're no longer able to see breakdowns such as age, gender and region within the ad platform. This means that it’ll be harder to identify trends and manually optimise campaigns. However, on the bright side, Facebook will automatically optimise campaigns towards those trends.

Managing expectations as these changes are implemented will be the key to success here. As reporting changes, it’s important to recognise that performance might not be dropping just the ability report on old benchmarks has changed.

The Attribution Window

Currently, There is a variety of attribution windows however, the  28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through will no longer be supported,  and will be changed for all users to the following options:

●      7-day click (the new default)

●      1-day click

●      1-day click and 1-day view

●      7-day click and 1-day view

That’s a big change from the window that we used to be able to report on. This is going to impact all e-commerce clients but will be more impactful if your customers spend more time thinking than buying (problematic the longer your product consideration period is!)

If there’s one thing digital marketing has taught us at DataSauce, it’s to expect the unexpected. Ultimately, customer behaviour isn’t changing it’s the way report that behaviour.

Whilst new information is still being provided surrounding the update, we have been preparing our staff and clients for this new wave of marketing.

Even though it might not seem like it immediately, change is good. If you’re not changing, you’re not growing! This isn’t the apocalypse, it’s digital marketing! This sauce is about to get a lot spicier 🔥🔥

For more information: click here

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