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Last month has seen some quite juicy drama unfold between two major tech giants; Apple and Facebook. Both of which are no strangers to a healthy level of rivalry but this time it has appeared to cause much more of a kerfuffle amongst marketing professionals and business owners.

What is the Facebook and Apple Privacy feud about? 

It is a clash of the tech titans! In a series of public spats, Cook has revealed his trump card to really p*ss Zuckerberg off and quite frankly, more than a handful of digital advertisers in the process too. 

Apple has recently introduced a new iOS update (iOS 14.4) and part of this update is providing greater visibility to Apple device users by providing them with a pop up to opt-out of tracking. Through the media and talk amongst peers, most people have become cautious when it comes to privacy settings (often rightly so). When given the option, it is more than likely that people will block apps from tracking them. 

Apple’s standpoint is that Facebook can still track data as usual, but they will just need to provide more transparency on how the data will be used by gaining very clear permission. Whichever side you’re on – if any – it stands to cause disruption across the advertising landscape as marketers lose a sizable amount of visibility with their targeting capabilities. 

What does the iOS 14.4 updates mean for advertisers?

When running any type of ad, business owners and marketing managers want to be as specific as possible with their targeting. This is to improve the efficiency of their advertising spend in relation to potential revenue opportunities. 

Many users are confused, and believe by opting out will reduce the number of ads you are exposed to… Whereas the reality is that this will see more randomness in the brands that grace their newsfeed. As a result, it is unclear how much of a refined audience that businesses can reach, as the data once collated by the Facebook pixel now has limitations. The Pixel records data on shopping behaviour and interests – although we can still segment these audiences using this, it is hard to estimate the pool of people that will be encompassed by them. 

What do you need to do as a result of the iOS update?

Although these changes are unavoidable, there are steps that you can take to minimise the impact of the update:

The first thing you will need to do is to make sure that your Pixel is implemented correctly on your website. Is it recognising your content on individual pages as you browse around? There is a handy Chrome extension to facilitate this called Facebook Pixel Helper. 

Next, it’s time to review your event tracking. Going forward, you are only able to successfully record up to eight events, which is not a major crisis for most advertisers. We would recommend that you shift your focus away from certain page views to just the core goals and user interaction you would like to achieve. You will find this in the Events Management section in your Facebook Business Manager. 

This bit is important; you need to complete domain verification. This allows you to claim the brand as your own and avoids any data tracking issues – there are certainly enough of them to contend with, without avoiding this step. Facebook has provided you with a step-by-step video which you can find here

Finally, get to know your people! If the accuracy of targeting is limited in reaching certain people – you need to make sure that the human element of marketing still remains in place. Look at historical performance on both Facebook and your website. This will not only help with targeting but also with how you speak to the users who you are able to reach to improve the impact of your marketing communications so that your sales team have access to more opportunities. 

If you need a listening ear to rant about targeting over a morning coffee or preferably, for our sales team, you need some professional assistance. Please don’t hesitate to call!