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Apple iOS 14.5 Updates and What it Means for your Advertising

iOS 14.5 requires iPhone app users to opt in to share their unique Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). This is a random identifier assigned to each iOS user that allows advertisers to deliver personalized ads in addition to tracking and attribution capabilities.


Prior to the update, approximately 70% of iPhone users were sharing their IDFA with apps. With the update, some estimates now put that number at as low as 5% for US consumers according to CNET. Globally, approximately 13% of iPhone users are sharing their IDFA.


The new Apple AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) has been all the buzz for the past few months and they finally released the new feature/requirement with their iOS 14.5 update on April 26th 2021.


ATT is Apple’s way of adding more transparency to their eco system and making users aware of where and how their data is being used.


With the new iOS 14.5 update all apps are required to implement an “opt-in” prompt where the user can select if they want their activity tracked. Each app/company has been working over the past few months to figure out how to address the new requirements and they are all responding in different ways. Facebook has decided to embrace the release and if their system detects the update the device will automatically be opted-out, meaning those devices will not be tracked as a default.


What does this mean for advertisers? The full impact of Apple’s new release is still unknown, but all the big app players like Facebook, Snapchat and TikTok have been preparing for this moment. The biggest impact is the losing the ability track and optimize campaigns based on behavior. Using Facebook as an example, the data advertisers have access to and how Facebook is tracking activity will have significant changes. Here are some highlights:

  • Look-a-like modeling will now be based on a 1-day click-through (7-day click-through and 1 day view-through attribution settings will no longer be an option for iOS 14.5 devices)

  • Action and demographic breakdowns for offsite events will no longer be available (won’t be able to see “who” is converting)

  • Any changes/updates to web event configurations will result in an automatic pause of ads for 72 hours to minimize the risk of incorrect attribution

You will no longer be able to see specific offsite conversions that are being done (i.e., online purchase, email sign-up etc.). All the data is being aggregated into a general “conversion” metric based on how the events are set-up on the brand’s Facebook Business profile, which impacts the ability to target/retarget based on offsite actions.


Although there are still some unknowns, F26 Media is working closely with our partners to ensure we are on top of all changes and will continue to keep you informed of updates and insights as we navigate through this new chapter together.


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