When Apple rolled out iOS 14, it came with the possible implementation of new privacy features. A simplified explanation of how it works - if you’re an iOS user, when an app is aiming to use your data you will be prompted a choice whether to allow it or not.
Now, the other big tech companies are not happy about this. Their grief stems from the fact that many of the technologies of today rely on the data sources that Apple users may deny. Facebook specifically, has been very vocal on how they oppose this change - claiming it damages small businesses.
While Facebook being the champion of small businesses is debatable, they are not wrong when they say that it changes things. Facebook, being a company that monetizes Apple’s customers, needs to adapt and change how they do things. This in turn, will affect many businesses as they rely on Facebook advertisements to drive their bottom lines.
With the coming of Facebook's changes, what's important for advertisers is to know and understand what to expect in the next coming months.
Because some users will be able to control their data, one of the biggest impacts would be the reliability of the data that many businesses depend on. As an example when an ad is served, there is a chance that we may not know if that ad resulted in a conversion. Attribution becomes a problem because now there is a mix of people who did and did not give permission for data. As some of them become invisible, our numbers through the marketing funnel won’t tally.
As attribution for success becomes a problem, this also affects reporting. Some data points will cease to exist as they rely on timely feeds. Some of them could give the wrong impressions as they will become estimations. It will be important to resassess what metrics we can rely on and what can be misleading.
This also affects pixels and cookies as these technologies may now have limited permissions. Given the case that different business websites have multiple domain variations, there could be problems depending on the setup. Now that there is a bottleneck of data received from one pixel, this may affect how all your websites are delivering data.
The fixes to these are dependent on the complexity of your digital ecosystem. It may require prioritization of data or changes in how you direct domain traffic. Changing those may also affect many other implementations within your ecosystems.
One big problem with this change is the rapid impact on infrastructure. All our businesses are connected to each other through different technologies. So when Apple announces that it will change data privileges of the audience that Facebook uses, Facebook needs to change their technology to make sure that their platform still remains intact. When Facebook does that, then all businesses who connect to them need to assess their technologies as well.
This situation happens quite often in the digital world, as technology rapidly changes businesses are constantly adapting to it. What’s different here is that Apple has not announced when they will enable their feature. Facebook on the other hand is taking a proactive, almost aggressive approach, on adapting to the change. So much so that Facebook said they will be implementing their revised APIs and SDKs by mid January. No other business has full clarity on what they’re doing, so we don’t know what to fix or how to fix it until it actually happens. This rush will leave us very little time to plan, fix or test things. The result - we can expect a lot of errors.
We hope this article has given you better clarity on what's going on and if you do need any help or clarification do reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org