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Mar 12, 2021

Apple iOS14 Update, Impact & Solutions

What is the iOS14 update?

What seems like a small change by allowing iOS users to decide whether advertisers can track them on other websites and apps will have wide-ranging effects. Digital ad platforms have been successful because they've been able to track a user's online behavior seemingly without limits.

blog-iOS14_031221_body-1.jpgWith the release of iOS 14, Apple is changing the way apps can access the IDFA from an opt-out approach to an opt-in approach. IDFA or ID For Advertisers allows advertising platforms to enforce frequency capping, measure campaign performance, and analyze user demographic information. Before the update, IDFAs were available for most users; with iOS 14, we expect to see very few users choose to opt-in. Apple has indicated this update is scheduled to occur in early 2021.

What does this mean for digital advertising?

Once the iOS 14 updates go into place, mobile app platforms expect a loss of conversion reporting, limitations to certain reporting, and audience targeting strategies. Facebook/Instagram has rolled out new requirements and alternative solutions for advertisers to comply with Apple's changes. Here are some of the significant changes that will occur:

  • Pixeling: Advertisers' ability to track conversions will be limited
  • Attribution: Moving forward, attribution will change from 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through to a set 7-day click-through window. This means the purchase event will only fire if a user purchases a ticket within seven days of clicking on an ad.
  • Reporting:
    • Year over year conversions, revenue, and return on ad spend will expectedly be significantly lower due to the limitations in reporting and change in the attribution window.
    • Demographic information will no longer be accessible in reporting or targeting widgets. This will directly impact ad effectiveness and targeting, limitations on measurement, and ultimately the user experience.


What is the solution to the iOS14 update?

The impact on Google Ads is significantly less as Google's ecosystem is not primarily reliant on the iOS ecosystem. Google continues to offer an abundance of privacy-safe, user-centric targeting capabilities informed by signals across the entire Google ecosystem (YouTube, Search, Gmail, etc.) For this reason, we recommend leaning into Google's offerings to continue reaching customers in a unique, safe, and personalized manner. As we navigate through a possible solution with FB, we encourage you to continue to utilize Google's network to continue to reach the right audience at the right time and measure incremental results.

authorPost by Alex Meshot, Digital Media Senior Specialist, Paciolan