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Startups, how does iOS14 privacy settings impact your marketing?




The new iOS14 update means that if you have an application – the optimization of marketing efforts to Apple’s users will be much more complicated. It will be much harder to accurately target users based on their use of your application. Good news? When marketing falters this is an opportunity for the product to rise up to the occasion.

eyal blog

Eyal Marcus, CEO,

Splash – Deeper Digital Marketing


Boris Shurp, CTO,

Splash – Deeper Digital Marketing

As if 2020 wasn’t challenging enough already, the announcement of the new iOS14 in September shook the ground under many marketers’ feet – and it seems that 2021 is on it’s way to being considered as “the year of the feud between the giants”.  

Two of the most influential internet giants in the world, Apple and Facebook, have been publicly clashing over Apple’s latest operating system update – iOS14. How did it all start, why should it interest your startup, and what is possible in this new era of privacy?

Sharing is Caring?

It’s no secret that many applications, Facebook among them, track their users for their own benefits. Facebook, the second-largest advertising platform in the world, relies heavily on user experience to forward that information to its advertisers – that’s why the social network has been so good to marketers all those years.

However, the new iOS 14, gives its users more power to decide whether or not they want to be tracked by the different applications they use. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, tweeted: “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”.

Facebook is not a fan of this update, to say the least. The company even went so far as to publishing its response to it over newspapers, saying that they are “standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere”. In its reaction, Facebook claims that this update will make many of its users deny tracking, and subsequently “limit businesses’ ability to run personalized ads and reach their customers effectively”. Facebook believes that this move’s goal was always about Apple making a profit, and not caring about user privacy: by limiting advertisers, creators and developers will have to rely on subscriptions and in-app purchases instead of ads – which is clearly a “pro-Apple” prompt.

Making Lemonade out of Lemons

So what does it mean for us, and what can be done?

First, it means that some of the measurements tools we’re used to will be affected. If the numbers below seem like Chinese, make sure your marketing team/agency is on it.

  • Real-time reporting will no longer exist, and Facebook is already warning that the overall reporting time will be delayed up to 3 days.
  • 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through attribution windows will no longer be supported for active campaigns. 
  • 7-day click attribution will not be affected. However, 7-day view-through attribution will disappear.

Facebook has already published its guidelines for advertisers, explaining what can be done with the new update. 

Here are our two cents:

The new update simply means that the optimization of marketing efforts will become, at least at first, much more complicated. Meaning, it will take longer to get results or statistics, and additionally, it will be much harder to accurately target users based on their use of your application.

Looking on the bright side, this change also embodies a fantastic opportunity for strengthening the relationship with your application users. Even without accurate, or real-time measurements from Facebook, app developers are able to see the users’ behavior and rely on it. It might be the prime reason (or excuse) to shift substantial funding into user experience and user interface design. Your ‘product’ efforts will and should get much more focus. 

What can you do now, technically, to get ready for this change?

  • Verify each of your domains with Facebook ASAP. That’s essential if you have pixels on your domain that are owned by more than one entity.
  •  Remember that the opt-out rates are still unknown – so hope for the best and prepare for the worst. The update will only affect iOS14 users, so not all users will have it at first. That buys you enough time to prepare for a bigger change as the OS becomes more popular.
  • Download your data history, both of the 28-day and the 7-day attributions. Learn the data, compare conversions and click-through rates, and draw conclusions from those.  

    Though the full impacts of this change are yet to be disclosed, it’s safe to assume that marketing and advertising in 2021 are going to take a major turn – and we will keep you posted with the latest updates as this change unfolds.