The social media powerhouse Facebook has expressed serious concern about Apple’s new iOS 14 updates. The update will ask users if they are willing to opt-in to the data tracking capabilities that Facebook uses to advertise to them. As in, the user will have to agree to share personal data with advertisers. Naturally, there is concern that users will opt-out of tracking which could therefore harm small businesses. Although it is uncertain, here is how we think the Apple iOS 14 update will affect Facebook Ads Targeting and small businesses.
How It Works
Each Apple device has its own unique IDFA, an identifier for advertisers, that tracks users’ search history, application downloads, and ad clicks. This makes it easy for advertisers to target users. However, Apple is limiting this feature in its new update. Depending on how users react to the update, the IDFA could become extremely less effective.
The iOS 14 update was announced in June of 2020. Facebook responded, blaming Apple for the potential downfall of many small businesses. Apple CEO Tim Cook replied to these accusations tweeting, “We believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used. Facebook can continue to track users across apps and websites as before, App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 will just require that they ask for your permission first”. However, users are currently able to turn off targeted ads in their privacy settings. If a user is worried about sharing their data, they have the option to remain private.
When users read “permission to track”, they could get defensive. In reality, the purpose of “tracking” is to generate the best ads for each specific user; it promotes the products/services a user is likely to purchase. These ads are crucial for small businesses that do not have massive advertising budgets like large companies. Small businesses get the most out of their money when their ads are targeted towards their audience.
Facebook has released several articles on Facebook for Business expressing their concern and warning their users. Their response was, “We disagree with Apple’s approach and solution, yet we have no choice but to show Apple’s prompt…” (facebook.com/business). Facebook’s main concerns are that the changes will limit your ability to:
- “Effectively deliver ads to people based on their engagement with your business
- Measure and report on conversions from certain customers
- Ensure your ads are delivered to the most relevant audiences at the right frequency
- Accurately attribute app installs to people using iOS 14 and later
- Predict and optimize cost per action over time and efficiently allocate budgets” (facebook.com/business).
On the other hand, Facebook is anti-update because of the blow they will take. In 2019, Facebook made about 69.7 billion in ad revenue, more than 98% of their annual revenue (CNN.com). Giving users an option to not share their information with advertisers could be detrimental for Facebook.
Impact on Small Businesses
We support small businesses. We care about the leads you get from Facebook Ads, and we are concerned about how personalized your ads will be. Facebook thinks this update will affect small businesses the most, and we are prepared to help. Although ad views are important, it is more important for the right people to see them. It is more effective to show a few targeted ads than it is to show several ads to uninterested users.
If our predictions are correct and Facebook targeted ads decline, we still have plenty of options to help you reach your target audience. Here at PPL Labs, we provide expertise in Google and Youtube Ads. We are also familiar with Linkedin and Twitter and are always ready to assist with SEO. Regardless of what happens with Facebook, we are here to help generate leads.