Latest on the iOS 14 Privacy Update, Its Impact on Advertising and How Genus AI Helps Overcome the Challenge

Apple’s iOS 14 tracking update is looming over the marketing industry and it is going to have a massive impact on the world of advertising. No matter what kind of campaigns you are running, this update will likely affect you.

In order to keep you well informed, we have consolidated all the major iOS 14 privacy updates as well as announcements and to-dos released by the advertising platforms into this blog post.

What is happening with iOS 14 on Apple’s side:

Mobile devices running Apple’s operating systems (iOS, iPadOS, tvOS) are currently tracked by ad platforms, developers, and measurement partners using an IDFA (Identity For Advertisers). This ID provides a unique, persistent, and non-personally identifiable method of tracking user engagement with ads in Facebook, and other apps, and resulting user behaviors on an advertiser’s website, like a purchase or a registration.

Historically, this ID was shared with publishers by default. Advertisers rely on this ID to attribute consumer activity to digital campaign initiatives and personalize ads based on a consumer’s website behavior.

Presently, Apple is expected to display a prompt early this year across all devices running iOS 14. Users will be prompted to explicitly choose to opt-in or opt-out of sharing their IDFA. Most users running iOS 14 are expected to opt-out of this tracking, significantly impacting advertisers ability to tailor their creative to highly nuanced and segmented audiences.

Ongoing Facebook updates in response to Apple’s update:

  1. Domain verification: If you use Facebook to drive traffic to your website and measure conversions with Facebook pixel, you may need to verify your domain in order to avoid any disruption. Visit Facebook’s Help Center for detailed instructions on how to verify your domain.
  2. Maximum of 8 conversion events per domain: You will be limited to 8 total conversion events combined across standard and/or custom events. There will be a new way to manage these events in Events Manager where you prioritize your top 8. Optimizing ad sets outside of the top 8 will be paused when these changes go live. You will not need to make changes to the pixel or Conversions API implementation as event configuration will be done in Facebook’s Events Manager.
  3. Attribution window changes: For anyone currently using 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through attribution your window will be automatically set to the new default of the 7-day click-through. You can use Facebook’s “comparing attribution windows” feature to see what your data looks like when measured through different windows. If you have automatic optimization, or rules in place that operate off current performance levels, make sure to prepare and update those to respond to your new levels of performance.
  4. Prepare for lower performance and smaller website custom audiences: Identify how your campaign optimization strategies may need to account for these changes in performance, such as alternative audience options and different bidding strategies.

What other advertising platforms have to say?

Facebook is considered to be the most impacted by the iOS 14 privacy updates, but here is what we currently know about other advertising platforms:

  • Google advised developers to upgrade to version 7.64 of the Google Mobile Ads SDK. For advertisers, all they have to recommend is to monitor performance and adjust accordingly. In addition to that, app advertisers should use the latest Google Analytics for Firebase.Google has started an educational series to help partners prepare. You can watch its first episode on demand here.

    It is worth noting that Google will not show the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt but instead just not use information such as IDFA.

  • Snapchat did not issue any major updates so far, but acknowledged the issue and started investigating how to implement new user privacy standards. Follow this page for the latest updates from Snapchat.
  • Pinterest made an announcement to their advertisers, saying they expect a gradual decline in IDFA availability for reportings and targeting. To compensate for that, Pinterest suggests using their Conversions API to pass through mobile conversion events and emails in place of IDFA as the next best replacement for audience list targeting and mobile measurement. Find the full announcement here.

Last update: January 29, 2021

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