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What you need to know about the Apple privacy updates

Got an Apple phone? By now, you’ve possibly been forced to update your phone to the latest software, iOS14.5.

Normally, a software update isn’t worth writing about, BUT, in this case, it’s significant. Why?

Because in its infinite wisdom, Apple has added more privacy controls for users. On the face of it, that only sounds like a good thing. What it actually means is that apps are now required to get their user’s permission before tracking their data across other websites, apps or sharing with data brokers, for example.

If you’ve got an iPhone, you’ve probably noticed the prompt when you’ve opened a variety of apps, Facebook included, once the software update has been installed.

When people choose “Ask App Not to Track” the app is restricted from doing things like using your data for targeted ads. It doesn’t mean those users won’t SEE ads, just that the users actions can’t be tracked, and therefore, the future ads they see may be less relevant to them.

TikTok Privacy Message

This is an interesting challenge to overcome as a Facebook advertiser. Although not limited to Facebook, this is where my experience focuses on.

We expect that around half, if not more of Facebook users will choose NOT to Allow Access.

This will likely result in an impact on performance, particularly as retargeting audiences and accuracy regarding interests and website visitors is reduced.

Information from actions that occur on the app, like page likes, post engagement and messenger or lead form responses will still be tracked, as they occurred ‘on app’.

For some accounts, this data will help to build audiences for advertising, however, this will generally be more effective for larger profiles with a lot of engagement.

The good news is, everyone is in the same boat. Understanding your customer and testing creatives has never been more important.

If this drama wasn’t enough, it’s recently been announced that there will be further privacy announcements when iOS15 rolls out later in the year. In a nutshell, these updates will add:

  • Email privacy protection, including preventing senders from seeing if or when an email is opened (which is a nightmare for sending relevant, timely emails, or cleaning up an email list); and
  • Safari privacy protection including preventing cross-site tracking.

If you haven’t tidied up your email list recently, now is the time to ask email subscribers who haven’t engaged with your emails for some time, to either agree to stay on the list, or otherwise be removed (or simply remove them from your list). A large email list full of people who don’t read your emails can be less valuable than a smaller list full of engaged subscribers.

If you’re trying to tackle these issues alone, you don’t need to. Book a call and we can walk through your specific challenges.