Mar 14 | Categories: Info

An Advertiser’s Guide to Apple’s iOS 14 Update

An Advertiser’s Guide to Apple’s iOS 14 Update

How Apple’s New iOS14 Update Will Change How You Advertise

Spring 2021 is upon us, and so are Apple’s iOS14 updates. Apple prides itself on user privacy, which can definitely be a good thing, but can also hurt a lot of businesses. The short version: people with Apple products who update to iOS14 will still see advertisements, but the privacy updates make advertisements less targeted to the user.  For advertisers, this means that ad targeting and ad management for audiences will be restricted.

When Is The Release Date For iOS 14?

Apple has not given an exact date the iOS 14 changes will be implemented. Spring 2021 is the general timeframe advertisers have to prepare for the new updates.

What Is The IDFA and Why Does It Matter? 

IDFA stands for Identifier for Advertisers. It’s a unique identifier for devices that allows advertisers to see the effectiveness of their advertising on a user-level. The new Apple update lets its users make the decision to opt-out of IDFAs, meaning their demographics and location will not be available to advertisers.

What You Need To Know About IDFA and Apple

Apple’s take on privacy is for the rights of the user and what they want or do not want to be shared. “Privacy means peace of mind, it means security, and it means you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your own data,” says Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi. Apple is taking a strong, and not surprising,  approach to the user’s ability to say “don’t allow.”

App Level Blocking Unique Identifiers: Opting In vs. Opting Out

Think of it this way: instead of an explicit opting out, Apple’s iOS14 update gives a choice to  “opt-in” to user-level identifiers. iOS14 is calling for app developers to be transparent. All apps in the app store need to ask for permission to track users to display targeted ads and give information to third-party advertisers.

The claim that privacy is a human right is not new for Apple. The new practice, however, is giving users the choice to block IDFA’s at a per-app level, along with some greater transparency about privacy.

SKAdNetwork: A Quick Overview

SKAdNetwork is Apple’s new(ish) framework for measuring attributes and advertisements. This feature comes with a twofold effect:

  1. Measuring data at a user level is not available
  2. Alleviating challenges developers face and will face by having limited access to the IDFA

SkAdNetwork is really just another way to get attributes from iOS campaigns. Ad networks must register with Apple; app developers must build their apps to work with the ad networks.

APIs (Application Programming Interface) allow applications to “talk” to each other, like when advertisers collect user data from Facebook. Apple introduced the concept of limiting data a few years ago with the intention, and success, of preserving user’s privacy.

Basically, when an app is advertised, clicked on, and installed, the ad network is notified. Here’s the thing with the iOS14 update: an ad network does not get the information about where the ad was posted or who clicked on it. Real-time optimization is also lessened because of a 24-48 hour data delay.

iOS14 and Facebook

Social media has become an increasingly important marketing tool. Having a social media presence is almost engrained in modern-day marketing. Apple’s new updates will impact conversion tools such as Facebook Pixel. Facebook Pixel has been used to identify audiences, customize audiences, and advertise to people who fit your user personas. However, that is about to change.

Upcoming iOS14 Changes for Facebook 

Businesses who optimize, target, and report on business tools and web conversions on Facebook will now have less access to data collection for the users who opt-out of tracking. Facebook needs to adopt Apple’s prompt of security simply because Apple requires it. Some of the biggest changes Facebook will see is:

  • Attribution views for 28-click, 28-day view, and 7-day view will not be available
  • You will have to access historic data through the Ads Insights API
  • Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM) only supports 1-day click attribution
  • The default for Ads Manager is a 7-day click. The user needs to manually change it
  • Restriction to eight events for optimization
  • Opt-out users cannot be added to custom audiences and exclusions
  • Conversion tracking will be unavailable (though targeting will not be impacted)
  • An estimated 3-day reporting time for campaign data

Facebook and SKAdNetwork

Facebook, along with most other platforms such as Google, TikTok, and Snapchat, are all going to be using Apple’s SKAdNetwork. Facebook has extended advice to its Business users to create separate iOS14 ad campaigns because of the SKAdNetworks limitations.

You will be limited on the amount of ad creation you’re allowed at once:

  • 9 ad campaigns through your app; each campaign is allowed 5 ads
  • 8 conversion events per domain

Take into consideration that data from your ads will be delayed.

What iOS 14 Means For Advertisers

If you are an advertiser, expect your ad targeting and ad management to be impacted. If you use Facebook and Google tools, you may still have access to email and phone numbers, but for the most part, you will not have any identifying information about users who opt out of the IDFA.

Yes, Apple has come out with an API to communicate information between apps, but that information is limited (to say the least). Many other Mobile Management Partners (MMPs) your company may be using were, and are, designed around the IDFA.

MMPs function based on IDFAs and IDFAs may no longer be available to provide information about iOS14 users. Therefore, your ad management will most likely be reduced.

How To Prepare for iOS14’s Elusive Release Date

  1. Make sure you’re prepared to transition to Apple’s App Tacking Transparency framework and your ad management tools are on the track to include Apple’s SKAdNetwork
  2. Develop a first-party data strategy where your marketing team can engage with your audience based on data you already have
  3. Talk with your marketing team or agency about actions to take with paid campaigns

Talk To A Digital Marketing Professional

Apple has appointed itself in charge of all things User Privacy in the United States (The European Union had already implemented data protection regulations since 2018). These changes are rapidly approaching and we want to help you feel confident in adapting to the iOS14 update. The digital marketing strategy professionals at Metric Marketing are here to answer any question you may have about transitioning your ad targeting and management. Contact our team today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

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