The impact of Apple IOS 14.5 update on Facebook Ads

Last Updated: January 11, 2022

What is Apple IOS 14.5 update?

Apple released IOS 14.5 on April 26, 2021, which requires all mobile apps in the App Store to show a prompt to users on IOS 14 devices. This prompts basically ask users whether they want the app to track them.

Here is how this prompt looks like:

ask app not to track

As you would expect, most users said NO.

When Facebook first issued the statement that Apple is going to hurt small businesses with this update, many critics brushed it off as nothing more than a self-serving statement.

While it is a self-serving statement, it is also true that for many businesses Facebook is the only affordable advertising option. And this update is in fact hurting them really badly.

Following are some of the important negative impacts of the IOS 14.5 update on Facebook ads:

attribution windows gone small
  1. A sharp decline in reported traffic and returning users from Facebook ads on mobile devices.
  2. The ‘Landing page views’ metric is no longer reliable.
  3. A decline in the size of the website based custom audiences.
  4. People using IOS 14.5 or later devices may not be excluded from your targeting.
  5. Underreporting of events, custom conversions, ROAS and results.
  6. The reported CPA (‘cost per result’) is no longer reliable.
  7. The cost controls (cost cap, minimum ROAS, Bid cap) are no longer effective because of underreporting of conversions.
  8. A/B testing is no longer reliable because of underreporting of landing page views and conversions.
  9. ‘Website purchases’ and ‘Website purchase conversion value’ metrics are no longer reliable because of underreporting of purchases and inclusion of view-through purchases.
  10. View-through conversions are no longer reported separately.
  11. Retirement of Facebook Attribution tool, Facebook analytics tool and Facebook Audience Insights tool.
  12. 28 days click/view attribution windows gone.
  13. Ability to analyze reports via different attribution windows gone.
  14. Targeting by age and gender has gone worse.
  15. Lots of conversions are being attributed to ‘Uncategorized‘ and ‘Unknown’.
  16. A maximum of 8 events can be configured per domain using Aggregated Events.

You need to be in the advertising space to understand the true pain of this update.

If you don’t know where your website sales are really coming from, you can not find and scale winning channels, campaigns, ads and keywords. You then can not get rid of the losers.

Other articles on Facebook Pixel Tracking

  1. Referral Traffic in Google Analytics Explained
  2. Facebook Attribution and Conversion Windows Tutorial
  3. Facebook ROI Calculation, Analysis and Examples
  4. How to set up the Facebook Attribution Tool
  5. How to Setup Funnels in Facebook Ads Manager
  6. How to use funnels for your Facebook Ad Campaigns
  7. Secret to Setup Facebook Pixel Tracking Correctly in Google Tag Manager
  8. Facebook Pixel vs Google Analytics Data Discrepancies
  9. Referral Traffic in Google Analytics Explained
  10. Learn to set up Facebook Pixel via Google Tag Manager
  11. Send Facebook Pixel Purchase Event via Google Tag Manager
  12. Open Graph Protocol for Facebook Explained with Examples
  13. Tracking Facebook ‘Likes’ and ‘Unlikes’ in Google Analytics
  14. Google Analytics for Facebook Tutorial
  15. Facebook Attribution Models Tutorial
  16. GTM Server Side Tagging for Facebook Tutorial
  17. How to advertise on Facebook for FREE with unlimited budget
  18. How to add Facebook Pixel to WordPress Website
  19. How to add Facebook Pixel to WordPress without a Plugin
  20. How to track Facebook events via Google Tag Manager
  21. How to use the Facebook Event Setup Tool
  22. How to use the Facebook Pixel Helper to Test Facebook Events

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