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Much of Apple’s new iOS 14 update includes changes to privacy and data usage. This has the potential to have a huge impact on the future of digital marketing, especially personalized advertising and remarketing. No one knows what kind of impact this will have in the future and if more will follow, but we’ve summarized the key points to consider right now and what it may mean for advertisers.

What changed?

The biggest change digital marketers need to be aware of is that users are now required to register to allow apps to track user activity, rather than opting out. Every app on the App Store will now have a pre-open prompt that asks the user if they want to register or unsubscribe to allow the app to access their device’s Advertising ID. This is known as IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers), and basically allows advertisers like Facebook to report actions you take online, such as website visits or events through the Facebook pixel.

If a user opts for, there is no change to what we are currently seeing. If a user opt-out, data collection and tracking will be affected.

Of course, we do not yet know the full extent of this situation and its impact. For example, we do not have data on the percentage of users who will choose to participate versus those who will opt out. And it’s important to remember that this change will only affect Apple devices with the new iOS 14 update. Normal service will continue (for now) for everyone.

What does this mean for advertisers?

We see this update as having three main implications for advertisers:

1) Data and reports

If more users opt out, we will lose visibility of the actions taken. This will impact the conversions we track, as Facebook will lose visibility of actions outside of its properties, which means we will also lose track of some of our ad traffic.

2) Optimizations

If less data is visible, it will be more difficult to optimize. We will lose track of which clicks generated conversions and therefore will not have as much information to make informed decisions.

3) Personalization and remarketing

With less visibility into user activity, ads will become less personalized and our remarketing audiences may decline in number.

Next steps

As we said earlier, the real impact of this update on advertisers is currently unknown. We anticipate that the issues we discussed could cause issues, although we don’t yet know how Facebook will respond to them or if Android and other operating systems will follow suit.

Challenges like this have happened before, like the rise of ad blockers. Digital businesses always seem to find a way to overcome the challenges they face. Is this the end of digital advertising? Absolutely not, but we’ll know more in the months to come on how to overcome this latest challenge. We will of course keep you posted.

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