iOS 14 ‘AppTrackingTransparency’ Everything You Need To Know


There is a lot of talk going around about Apple’s new iOS 14 update and what it means for businesses and advertisers alike. We are here to help you understand the update and prepare the best you can for its impending effects. 


What’s happening

This month, Apple is rolling out it’s new iOS 14 iPhone and iPad operating system. This new update allows users to choose who and how they can see their data. Apple will begin serving a “prompt” to the user when they open an app such as Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube, asking if they allow that app to track their personal usage. 


Why is this happening? 

Apple states this new update is not about limiting advertising or tracking; it’s about protecting users and giving them a choice of where and when they want to share their information. 


When is this happening?

Now! iOS 14 has already been rolled out, but the impact of ATT (App Tracking Transparency) on businesses and advertisers won’t likely be felt until a large number of Apple users actually go in and update their mobile devices, or purchase new ones. 


What’s the overall impact going to be? 

For the time being, we don’t expect much impact at all, that is, until enough users are using the iOS 14 update, giving us enough quantifiable data on how many people accept or reject apps from tracking them. 


What’s the impact on Facebook advertisers? 

The biggest impact for Facebook advertisers is limited targeting options and tracking. There are, however, some things you can prepare for now to mitigate these limitations. Tracking campaigns will have to live primarily within Google Analytics. If you have not set up a Google Analytics account to track your marketing efforts, now is the time. It’s completely free and has seemingly unlimited ways to use it to analyze campaigns. You can set up Google Analytics here.


If you are like many other advertisers, you might be worried about your retargeting campaigns’ future performance. Not to worry, some potential solutions include retargeting off of email lists or using Facebook custom audiences, to name a few.  


Is it just Facebook that’s impacted?

No. This iOS 14 update will impact all apps, not just Facebook, which includes other popular social media platforms and any other app that collects user data to build advertising or personalization within the app. However, Facebook has been the most vocal about this update and the negative impact on their users, specifically small businesses advertising on their platform. 


Apple’s User Privacy & Data Use Example

The new iOS 14 update will prompt apps to explain to users exactly what data they are using. Apple shared this example of what the new prompt will look like. 













Apple shared these examples of what types of tracking will warrant this new prompt to be shown to users:


  1. Displaying targeted advertisements in your app based on user data collected from apps and websites owned by other companies. 
  2. Sharing device location data or email lists with a data broker. 
  3. Sharing a list of emails, advertising IDs, or other IDs with a third-party advertising network that uses that information to retarget those users in other developers’ apps or to find similar users


User Options

When the user chooses to opt out of tracking, it’s expected this user will no longer receive personalized ads targeted to them. They will likely still see ads, they will just be less targeted to the specific user. It is expected that the user will still get an in-app personalized experience, for example, the app will remember where you left it and bring you back there when you re-enter that app. 


What Should You Do Now? 

While the new iOS 14 update means a big change in the advertising world, for most non-app install advertisers, we aren’t likely to see a change until middle to late 2021. The good news is, we have time to prepare. So what can you do now to get ahead of this change? 


  • Facebook announced it’s advertisers are now only allowed to only track 8 conversions per domain. This is only relevant if you use more than 8 conversion events per domain for optimizing and reporting. You will need to create an action plan on how to operate with only these 8 conversion events based on your business priorities. The good news is, according to Facebook, you will not need to make changes to the pixel or Conversions API.
  • Facebook also recommends verifying your domain. Domain verification establishes which Business Manager account has the authority to configure and prioritize the 8 available conversion events for a given domain.
  • Prepare for these changes in Facebook reporting
    1. 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through attribution windows will not be supported. Historical data for these windows will remain accessible via the Ads Insights API.
    2. Statistical modeling will be used for certain attribution windows and metrics to account for less iOS 14 users’ data availability. 
    3. Certain attribution windows will have partial reporting, and metrics will not include all events from iOS 14 users. The in-product annotation will communicate when a metric is partial. This will launch in early 2021.
    4. Delivery and action breakdowns will not be supported for offsite conversion events.
    5. Offsite conversion events will be reported based on the time the conversions occur and not the time of ad impressions. As a result, you may notice small fluctuations in cost metrics.


Final Thoughts


The digital world is continuously changing, and we have to adapt with it. Our immediate goal is to implement alternative strategies that tap into first-party data or use data Facebook has available to us. Again, as we navigate the change and have more information at our fingertips, we’ll be able to better gauge how exactly this will impact our clients and will share more information at that time.

For now, we are preparing the best we can and will be ready for the change. If you are looking for additional help navigating this new update, let’s talk! Contact us here.