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iOS 14.5 vs Facebook Ads: How Bad Is It?

Just a couple of days after the iOS 14.5 release, the dust has settled a bit.

So what is this all about?

Why is this particular release from Apple such a big deal?

And why are PPC and Facebook Ads marketers around the world getting nervous?

Here’s everything you need to know about the iOS update, how it’s going to affect Facebook Ads, and what you can do about it.

The iOS 14.5 Update

The new iOS 14.5 brings a lot of changes, some of which include:

  • The ability to unlock your iPhone with an Apple Watch 👍
  • More diverse voice options for Siri 👍
  • New face and heart emojis 👍
  • App Tracking Transparency 👎

So what’s the last part about?

In a sentence, the new iOS version limits the ability to run personalized ads.

Effectively, it stops Facebook and other apps from tracking users across other apps.


App Tracking Transparency requires apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies for advertising, or sharing their data with data brokers. Apps can prompt users for permission, and in Settings, users will be able to see which apps have requested permission to track so they can make changes to their choice at any time.

What Really Changes in Facebook Ads

When opening their Facebook app after the update, all iOS users will be asked: Do you want your data to be tracked for advertising use?


iOS14 data privacy 14 270x500 1

For users, now they will have the power to decide whether and how many cookies they want to accept. What’s more, they will be able to decide what data can be tracked and forwarded to Facebook.

For advertisers, if a user wants to opt-out and taps “Ask App not to Track” –

  • You won’t be able to see in ad manager whether they covert.
  • They won’t be able to be used in custom audiences.
  • They will affect ad performance and your ability to make decisions.

Here are the basic points that the iOS update will affect the most.

1. Tracking

You probably know what an ‘event’ is.

Events are actions that happen on your website, such as Add to cart, Purchase, and Contact. So, Facebook Pixel features 17 standard events:

Now, advertisers can set up a maximum of 8 standard events and custom conversions. And that’s if the user opts-in, i.e. gives consent for tracking.

If the user opt-out, only 1 event will be tracked – the one with the highest priority.

2. Attribution

With Facebook Attribution, advertisers could understand the impact of ads across devices, channels, and publishers. The tool helps business owners and marketers to capture an overview of the full customer journey. 

Before Apple’s update, the attribution window could be set to 1, 7, or 28 days. This meant that if the user clicked on an ad 1-28 days ago and made an action (event), it would still be tracked and at any time.

Now, the attribution window is from 1 to 7 days.

Additionally, you can no longer break down conversions by demographics such as gender, age, and region in reporting. 

3. Targeting & Retargeting

Naturally, targeting and retargeting/ remarketing couldn’t remain unaffected.

Since Facebook will have less data about the users at its disposal, ad deliveries to target groups will be less accurate. Also, Specific groups (Custom Audience) for targeting will become smaller.

On the bright side, Dynamic Ads will remain unaffected.

What You Should Do

Did the above leave you with a bitter taste?

Well, here’s what you can -and should- do to minimize iOS 14.5’s impact on your Facebook Ads.

1. Verify Your Domain

To advertise effectively, you really have to verify your domain in Business Manager. By doing so the social media platform ensures that you are the actual owner.

Furthermore, if your domain is unverified, you can’t set up events.

Also, if you are verifying a domain on behalf of a client (e.g. as an agency) please make sure that the domain is verified in the domain owner’s Business Manager. They can always share access to the domain with your Business Manager later.

—> Official guide to verifying your domain on Facebook

2. Select and Rank Events

Remember when we talked about limited events and priorities? You will have to configure which these events will be and at what priority through Events Manager.

It’s highly recommended that the events you select cover the entirety of your funnel.

Here at GrowthRocks, we set the following events as such for most of our eCommerce clients:

  1. Purchase / Registration Completed
  2. Payment Started
  3. Purchase Started
  4. Add to Cart
  5. Views Cart
  6. Views Product Page
  7. Views Category Page
  8. Views Home Page

Keep in mind that you can change the priority at any time. Also, don’t forget that any change can affect the performance of existing ads, so the sooner you set things up, the better.

3. Consider Setting UP Facebook Conversions API

The Conversions API gives you the ability to send web events from their servers directly to Facebook. Server events are linked to a pixel and are processed like browser pixel events. This means that server events are used in measurement, reporting, and optimization in the same way as browser pixel events.

Facebook Conversions API helps bridge the incoming data gap. In practice, it improves the accuracy of events sent for measurement and optimization when used along with the pixel.

Facebook Audience Insights

According to Facebook, you can use Conversions API to:

  • Measure customer actions in more ways. For example, you can share delayed values, user scores or lead scores and use them for optimization in our other business tools. This gives you further visibility into your customer’s full journey.
  • Help improve accuracy of information sent for targeting, measurement and optimization when used in addition to the pixel.
  • Control the data you share. Conversions API is designed to give you more control over what data you share and when you share it (when implemented separately from pixel).

Installing Conversions API is by no means going to nullify the impact of iOS 14.5. However, it’s a useful tool that can help you minimize the effect of Apple’s new update.

—> Learn more about Conversions API


With the new iOS  14.5 update, business owners and marketers will have less data in their hands to work with.

Still, Facebook offers enough support and tools so you can run successful advertising campaigns. 

The new iOS update may be a big hint of what’s to come and how the data privacy landscape is transforming.

For any questions you may have regarding these changes Facebook Ads in general, feel free to contact us. We’d love to hear from you!

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