IOS Update Is Impacting Advertising

Adapts Media
5 min readSep 12, 2021


Privacy measures introduced by Apple have significantly affected Facebook Advertising. Users are automatically opted in for tracking without any option to opt-out. Here’s our take on how the Facebook iOS 14 Update is impacting the marketers.

What Does the iOS 14 Update Mean for Facebook Advertisers?

Apple has always walked the extra mile in ensuring the privacy of its users. If your prospects are mostly iPhone users, it’s time you think of altering your strategies considering the new Apple privacy updates. This post aims to shed light on why the iOS 14 update will matter to your marketing team and how it’ll affect your Facebook marketing endeavors.

Why the iOS 14 Update does Matter to Marketers?

There has been a lot of fuss among customers about Apple’s upcoming iOS 14 updates. While users will remain at better off, in terms of privacy, it has taken a toll on marketers. It’s significantly impacting data tracking permissions and, therefore, considerably impacting the efficacy of Facebook ads.

Facebook too has responded to the planned update with equal apprehension as that of the marketers. Businesses these days use Facebook ads as one of their key strategies for audience targeting and lead generation.

The iOS 14 update’s most important changes are its privacy and data sharing policies, which the company has termed as Apple’s App Tracking Transparency Framework. The idea is to give users a transparent choice to protect the privacy of the customers.

Currently, any user willing to turn off the data sharing on your phone can go to the privacy settings option from settings and switch off the function. The iOS 14 update will prompt the users to make the decision anytime they wish to download the app.

To put it simply, the moment you download the app from the App Store, you’ll see a pop-up asking if you want to grant the app permission to track your activity across apps and websites of the other companies. You can either allow tracking or refuse the app to do so.

Marketers are of the view that if consumers are given a choice if they’d like to be tracked across the internet, most of them will respond negatively. On the flip side, Facebook measures the efficacy of the ad campaigns by analyzing the user behavior data.

The iOS 14 update will be applicable to all apps in the App Store, including Facebook-owned apps like Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Additionally, it’ll also impact the apps that use Facebook’s Audience Network for monetization. There’s no denying that this would have a significant impact on businesses that rely on social media advertising.

believes this update will harm small business owners who are trying to survive these trying times. Many small businesses have struggled with physical restrictions in the past year and pivoted to using a digital model. But even that could be taken away with this update.

Facebook in its official statement revealed that this update will cause significant damage to small business owners who are trying to survive the challenges posed by COVID. Facebook has even created a page for small businesses to share how Apple’s update will affect them as well as the hashtag #StandUpforSmallBusinesses.

How the Update Will Affect Facebook Marketers

Currently, Facebook can track user activity on other websites and in other apps. The most popular way is through Facebook pixels, which are pieces of code installed on a website or app. When a user visits your site and takes an action (adds an item to their cart, makes a purchase, visits a landing page, etc.), the pixel notifies Facebook where that information is stored as data for your campaigns.

You can use the information gathered from pixels and other tracking methods to determine which ads work and don’t work and get insights that can help you improve them. It also allows you to retarget certain groups of users such as website visitors who added items to their cart but didn’t complete the purchase.

As of right now, you can place as many pixels as you like on your website for as many marketing campaigns as you like. Typically, you want to add pixels to every page of your website to track all of the conversions that page sees.

With the iOS 14 update, you’re only allowed to place eight-pixel objectives on a single domain, which will significantly reduce the amount of data you can collect, report on, and leverage.

Keep in mind that users who opt out of the data-sharing permission won’t be trackable by pixels.

If Facebook is unable to track user behavior, its targeting function will be diminished and the amount of data it collects will be reduced. Your ad spend will become less efficient and effective and likely more expensive.

Additionally, businesses depend on this data to personalize ads to specific users. Without it, ads will be less personalized and therefore less effective. This could lead to fewer leads generated by Facebook ads to drive sales.

Reporting will also be impacted by the update. Because the data won’t include users who denied permission for tracking and will only track a small number of objectives, reports will be inaccurate.

Facebook Audience Network is a tool for publishers to monetize their websites by hosting ads and for advertisers to make money from that ad placement. Because iOS users who deny permission for tracking can’t be tracked on these websites, advertisers may decide that paying to host their ads on these sites isn’t worthwhile. They’ll lose valuable ad placements and publishers will lose revenue from those ads.

Here’s an example of what this update could mean.

A user sees that their Facebook friend shared a link to your clothing store on their feed. The user, who denied Facebook permission to track them, clicks the link. Neither your store nor Facebook will have any knowledge of what the user looks at, clicks, or buys on the site. This is also the case on websites and apps that are publishers in Facebook Audience Network.

Do I believe that this is for Facebook advertising? Absolutely not. It’s about navigating the strategy effectively.


The iOS 14 update has many marketers and business owners concerned about their future ability to target users, generate leads, and measure conversions from Facebook ads. However, the true impact of this update is currently unknown. Until the full rollout is complete, we won’t know how detrimental the effects are.

It’s a good idea to start looking into other ways to digitally market your business. Many other platforms offer ad management, as well as testing and reporting. Although Facebook may be the biggest player in the game right now, there are other options on its tail.

Marketers have adapted to updates and changes in the past, moving from traditional marketing to digital and from one platform to the next. This update could be life-changing, or it could be par for the course for marketers.



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