What Does Apple’s iOS14.5 Update Mean For Paid Social?

Will the iOS 14.5 Update Ruin Your Paid Social Plans?

For the past few months, you’ve probably been hearing ominous rumbles about the iOS 14.5 update. This update includes major changes, so many industry experts have been predicting that it will destroy paid social marketing.

Now that the update is finally here, we’ve been experiencing some major upheavals. However, things aren’t as disastrous as they might seem.

New iOS Update 14.5 Leads to Major Problems for Marketers

The iOS 14.5 update will affect all Apple products. It involves a lot of different security and privacy features, but the big one to know about is opt-in tracking.

Previously, any app could track a user’s mobile behavior. If the user gave the app permission, it could collect a lot of helpful data for advertisers.

The 14.5 update gets rid of this permission method. Instead, it gives users the option of opting in or opting out of all mobile tracking at once.

Even if the user has given the app permission to track them, the app won’t receive data unless users opt-in through their Apple settings.

Advertisers Are Already Feeling the Effects

As soon as the update went live, tracking data everywhere nosedived.

Experts were predicting that around 39% of users would opt-in. However, it turns out they were a little too positive. Only 12% of global Apple users have chosen to opt-in.

In America, rates are even lower. Just 4% of iPhone users have chosen to opt-in to tracking.

Overnight, social media advertisers have lost most of their data about user behavior. They can’t see who is engaging with their ads or what types of ads are most effective.

Furthermore, advertisers can’t look at the big picture. They’re only seeing data from those who specifically choose to opt-in, so they can’t see how other demographics are feeling about their ads.

Ruh-roh!

iOS 14.5 Update Is Just the Latest Change to Paid Social Marketing

The 14.5 update is definitely the most drastic change for paid social users. However, it’s not something Apple’s just pulled out of thin air.

We’ve noticed that more and more tech companies are changing how marketing is handled. This growing focus on data privacy and reduced advertising can cause some challenges.

For example, Instagram has recently done some updates to promote Reels, the TikTok-style vertical videos.

The Instagram algorithm now prioritizes videos, so if you aren’t making Reels, your ads are probably getting buried.

Meanwhile, Facebook has added a new Feeds tab that shows a chronological list of posts from friends, groups, and followed pages. Users who switch to using the Feeds tab won’t get recommended posts with ads and viral posts.

As you can see, these sorts of changes can cause difficulties for companies that rely on social media marketing. It’s not the end of the world, but we do recommend companies start rethinking some of their strategies.

How to Keep the iOS 14.5 Update From Slowing You Down

All of this might sound grim, but there’s no reason to be worried. All advertisers are experiencing this at once, so you don’t have to worry about competitors getting a leg up on you.

Furthermore, behavior tracking is just one of the many tools in the paid social toolset. There are still a lot of ways to engage with potential customers and fine-tune your ads.

Ultimately, the challenges of the iOS 14.5 update might prove to be an advantage for dedicated companies.

Why? You say! Well, before now they were competing with a lot of poorly designed, barely engaged companies using simple data to spam customers with ads. Now, advertising isn’t as simple.

This allows more motivated businesses to succeed where lackluster competitors will fail.

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