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What Does Facebook’s iOS14 Update Mean for Social Media Marketing?

facebook ios app

If there’s one thing that every social media marketing agency has been preparing for lately, it’s iOS14.5. Specifically, Apple’s latest updates to its app policies mean that Facebook Ads are going to change for iPhone and iPad users for good. But what exactly does this mean for the average business owner, as well as social media marketers in general?

The crux of the changes Apple is bringing in revolves around privacy. Specifically, the average mobile user is now savvier regarding their app tracking and data concerns than ever before. Therefore, Apple – it seems – is taking steps to try and back up such prevalent concerns.

Therefore, every social media marketing agency UK businesses depend upon is getting ready for the changes being brought to the next raft of iOS updates. While iOS14.5 is still in beta mode, it remains important for marketing professionals to know where they are heading when it comes to the future of Facebook Ads on Apple devices.

Let’s take a quick look at how Facebook Ads will change with iOS14.5, and why that’s such a huge deal.

New Restrictions for Campaign Numbers

Keeping things simple, Apple is introducing a new concept that requires Facebook to restrict specific app events. For advertising campaign managers, this means that they will now only be able to manage a small number of campaigns and live events.

It also means that app event reports are delayed, too. For the average marketer, this is likely to mean a little bit of a learning curve, albeit in the name of privacy. As Apple is effectively taking strides to help everyday users manage and take back control of their usage data, this is hardly easy to argue against.

However, for some, it will mean relearning, or at least truncating, their Facebook Ads approach. Quite how easy that’s going to be will vary from case to case, but now is absolutely the time for campaign managers to adapt.

New Restrictions for Targeting

There are set to be more restrictions brought in for event optimisation, too. Apple’s updates will require Facebook Ads managers to whittle down their conversion events down to a selection of eight, maximum, where they wish to target and optimise. This, again, could mean a little bit of a learning curve for some managers. For the most experienced social media agency small business owners rely on, however, this is unlikely to be an issue!

That’s because event targeting restrictions won’t apply if you are creating events for broadening your audience, as opposed to optimising. It’s clear that the latest updates don’t intend to restrict your ads focus, rather, to prevent unscrupulous campaign managers from going overboard with regard to optimisation.

However, what this side of things might actually mean is that there is less data available for campaign managers to work with. That’s not going to be ideal for small campaign owners – but, as with all game-changing moments Apple and Facebook have thrust upon us over the years, we’ll likely adapt over time.

Will Analysis and Measurement Suffer?

Some social media marketing agency experts will likely agree that measuring data for Facebook Ads via iOS is likely to get a little more difficult as a result of the three-day delay being implemented. Of course, further truncation such as Apple’s curtailing of event numbers, and disconnection between app and mobile web clicks, could also cause a lot of head-scratching. This isn’t to mention the fact that there is likely to be less data available as a result of these changes.

Ultimately, while Apple’s Facebook curtailment means that users are tracked less and their data is harvested less freely, it does mean that business marketing is going to take a hit in the short term. Without clear analytics or the data that we are used to re Facebook Ads, this is all going to take a lot of getting used to. However, what Apple says, goes – meaning that we are simply going to have to learn ad hoc.

There’s also the fact that the Facebook Business Manager is going to change, too. Awkwardly, this is very likely to affect Android users, too. There’s no way at present to offer two separate Business Managers, which means that Android targeters are likely to be feeling a bit frustrated about the blowback – when it’s not even their fault!

Will Facebook Ads Still Be Worth Using?

The most important takeaway from all of this – which any reputable social media marketing agency, UK or elsewhere, will tell you – is that these changes do not mean the end of Facebook Ads. Far from it. For one thing, beyond Facebook Business Manager, Android app marketing will remain largely the same.

What it does mean, unfortunately, is short term awkwardness, and a lack of data, for marketers targeting FB via Apple devices. However, many will argue that this is for the greater good. Facebook has come under fire hugely in recent years as a result of privacy and data usage concerns. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before enhanced privacy entered the mainstream. Facebook itself has strived to make big changes in the way it manages data, but for many people, this really hasn’t been enough.

As with all changes that come around through algorithm shifts and adaptations to user behaviours, these latest moves are only like to impact the average ecommerce growth agency, for example, in the short term. As with changes that occur to SEO, these moves may be shocking at first – but the very best marketers will adapt to them. What’s more, 14.5 is still very much in beta mode at the time of writing, so we’ll be able to take plenty of time to prepare for the full launch as and when that emerges.

In the meantime, if you are concerned your Facebook Ads will suffer via iOS14.5, make a point to get in touch with Digifolk right now for advice. We’re here to offer experience and guidance across all social media concerns and analysis!

Samantha Khu