How Apple’s iOS 14 Will Affect Facebook Advertising

How Apple's iOS 14 Will Affect Facebook Advertising

Apple Introduces More Mobile Privacy Choices

In June, Apple previewed iOS 14, the operating system that iPhone and iPad users can begin upgrading to this fall. One of the announcements included this controversial bit about user privacy features:

“All apps will now be required to obtain user permission before tracking. Later this year, App Store product pages will feature summaries of developers’ self-reported privacy practices, displayed in a simple, easy-to-understand format. In addition, users can upgrade existing accounts to Sign in with Apple, choose to share their approximate location with app developers rather than their precise location when granting an app location access, and get even more transparency into an app’s use of the microphone and camera.”

Here’s a screenshot of what the new privacy options will look like.

Facebook Addresses Businesses about Apple's Upcoming iOS 14 Advertising Rules

Apple Boasts 1.4 Billion Device Users Worldwide

The privacy announcement caused quite a stir with advertising platforms like Facebook. There are around 1.4 billion Apple devices in use, and losing the ability to target advertising to them would seriously impact ad revenue.

Facebook Describes How the Changes Affect Advertisers and Partners

In a somewhat complex press release titled “Preparing Our Partners for iOS 14,” Facebook predicts how advertisers may be affected. Let me simplify it.

Advertising On Facebook’s App Will Be Less Affected

The sponsored posts and ads users see while using the Facebook app will still be targeted to those users’ interests and behavior.

Audience Network Advertising May Result in 50%+ Drop in Revenue

Facebook’s Audience Network allows developers and publishers to monetize their apps through displaying targeted advertising. In 2018, Facebook paid out more than $1.5B to their Audience Network partners.

But all that is about to change with iOS 14. Here’s what Facebook has to say about their internal testing:

“While it’s difficult to quantify the impact to publishers and developers at this point with so many unknowns, in testing we’ve seen more than a 50% drop in Audience Network publisher revenue when personalization was removed from mobile app ad install campaigns. In reality, the impact to Audience Network on iOS 14 may be much more, so we are working on short-and long-term strategies to support publishers through these changes.”

How Will iOS 14 Affect Small Business Facebook Advertising?

Unless your small business engages in the Facebook Audience Network, your advertising efforts will probably be affected very slightly. Boosting posts or creating ads on Facebook’s own platform will still be able to reach targeted audiences.

Most small businesses don’t engage in the intrusive marketing tracking that Apple is trying to prevent with its new iOS release. However, if you use an iOS device, you’ll likely encounter fewer advertisements that make you think, “How did they KNOW I was thinking about that?!”

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