I’m sure by now the news of Apple’s elusive iOS 14.5 update has made its way to you. Well let me tell you, it’s made its way to us in a big way, but at this point, it’s hard to say whether or not the update has affected all it said it would.
As the Social Media Manager here at Rethink, my job was one that had the potential to be mightily affected by the update, so I prepared accordingly. I read the blogs. I sat in on the calls with Facebook. I checked into everything Apple was putting out there, and still the iOS 14.5 update loomed over the digital advertising world, threatening to encroach on every aspect of modern day marketing.
For anyone who doesn’t know, the basis of the iOS 14.5 update is privacy. Apple wants to ensure that it is keeping its customers’ information safe from the outside world (i.e. marketers). The update allows all iOS users to opt out of any given app’s ability to track you. I’m sure many of you have received the pop up message asking you if it’s okay for that app to track your activity, to which I’m sure your answer 99.9% of the time is no. And we get that.
So what does this have to do with us? Marketers all over the country are scrambling right now to figure out how they are going to obtain accurate indications of who their target audiences are and whether or not their advertisements are still effective. When you’re searching for something online and an ad for that product pops up later on your Facebook account, that is a product of advertising. Without the ability to track individuals’ activity across different apps, this becomes harder; therefore, making it more difficult for companies to obtain accurate indicators of who their audiences are and who they need to be targeting. See why the iOS 14.5 update means so much to us?
The update was implemented in April, which means we’ve had 3 months to see if the update has affected our advertising the way it said it would. As of right now, the biggest change for myself is the reporting. Facebook now has slight delays in reporting ad performance, which if prepared for, isn’t a big deal. I have also noticed the limits to the targeting options. You can still put in who and what you want to target, but Facebook will warn that the possibility of those individuals seeing the ad will be low due to the update.
For an update that has caused so much commotion, it’s been an awfully quiet 3 months since its inception, but that is most likely due to the amount of people who aren’t willing to update their phones immediately. Most people will give an update a couple of weeks or even months to work out the kinks before updating their devices. This will hinder Apple’s ability, and Facebook’s ability, to see the effects of the update on advertising.
From the start date to mid-May, only 6% of Americans had opted-in to cross app tracking; whereas, the opt-in rate worldwide was 15% (www.warroominc.com). These numbers prove what most advertisers were trying to get ahead of: a new limit on advertising knowledge. The next couple of months will be interesting for advertisers as we continue to monitor the effects of the iOS 14.5 update. How will the increased number of updated iPhones affect statistics? Will the opt-in rate increase? I guess we’ll all just have to stay tuned to find out.
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