How Apple’s iOS 14.5 update will impact marketers

iOS 14.5 is here and it's going to impact marketers. Find out how, plus learn how you can prepare.
How the iOS 14.5 update will impact marketers

Apple’s iOS 14.5 is here and it includes a new privacy feature that will impact digital marketers. Here’s everything you need to know.


Apple’s latest update includes a privacy feature that will let users opt out of tracking. The new App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy will mean apps in the App Store will need to ask for permission when they use certain information from other apps and sites to ‘track’ users for advertising purposes.

So once downloaded, iOS 14.5 will deliver a new prompt that explicitly asks users whether they want to opt in or out of targeted ad tracking. Up until now, if users wanted to turn off data sharing they would have had to have gone to Settings > Privacy.

How the iOS 14.5 update will impact marketers

What does this mean for marketers?


When presented with the option, marketers are concerned their customers will say no to tracking. This would effectively switch off the IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) a random identifier Apple assigns to each device to track and identify its user.

It’s this IDFA that provides marketers with the user behaviour data needed to measure the efficacy of ad campaigns, target audience segments and personalise.

Facebook, who opposed the changes, warned: “Apple’s proposed changes will limit your ability to effectively reach, understand and engage people on mobile devices and across the web.”

Although users will be opted out of tracking as a default, it remains to be seen what percentage opt in for a more personalised experience.

How the iOS 14.5 update will impact marketers

How could this impact your campaigns?


Data collection

With iOS 14 update, you’re only allowed to place eight pixel objectives on a single domain. While this could reduce the amount of data you can collect, report on, and leverage –  it should be enough for most companies.



Without valuable data about the consumer, marketers could have a harder time personalising ads. However with existing data on all its users, Facebook will continue to gather data on their interests based on what they do on the platform.



It could hamper your efforts to retarget certain groups of users such as website visitors who added items to their cart but didn’t complete the purchase. However this data will still be available for non-iOS 14.5 users, and will be aggregated for those that are (aggregated event measurement).



Campaign result data won’t include users who denied permission for tracking. However, as above, data will still be available for non-iOS 14.5 users, and will use aggregated event measurement.

But it’s not all doom and gloom…


Facebook is implementing Aggregated Event Measurement which will allow for the measurement of web events from iOS 14.5 users. They’re also implementing Apple’s SKAdNetwork app attribution API to ensure that app-based businesses have the best possible measurement experience when it comes to assessing marketing performance.

It’s also likely that you’ll be able to add more conversion events in the future. 

In the meantime, while tracking on third-party properties will be impacted moving forward, Facebook still has a full history of users’ data to lean on for targeting purposes (e.g. interests, buying behaviors).


How fast will these changes happen?


While iOS 14.5 is available now, people will likely update their devices slowly over several weeks. As a result, we do not expect an immediate noticeable impact to iOS event reporting once Apple enforces its ATT prompt.

Even then, the real extent of the changes won’t be seen for years down the track, when new users (with more limited data history) become a more significant portion of the usership.

What you can do to minimise the impact


Brands with apps or websites who advertise on Facebook or Instagram should address the following:





Not preparing may result in:

  • Inability to create mobile app install ad campaigns targeting users on iOS 14.5 and above.
  • Limited access to certain optimisation choices and the pause of certain ad sets.
  • Ad performance impact as delivery to users on iOS 14.5 and above may decline for certain ad sets. 
How the iOS 14.5 update will impact marketers

Want to know more?


Check out these resources from Facebook:

  • Resource Center tab in Facebook Ads Manager – a customized list of actions for your ad account to help you prepare for the changes.
  • Ads Ecosystem Hub – this comprehensive guide includes resources to help you evolve your advertising strategies based on the technical changes emerging from mobile operating systems and web browsers.
  • See here for the full list of limitations to measurement and reporting.

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